Before handing down a 12-month jail sentence Wednesday (May 9) to a Winchester man who pleaded guilty to reckless driving in causing a fatal crash, Judge J. Howe Brown Jr. said he hoped that with the message “… we will save one life.”
Brown’s ruling in the Circuit Court of Loudoun County means Timothy Stephen Anderson, 58, will spend 12 months in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.
According to court documents, Anderson drove his 1996 Toyota Corolla into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer on Route 7 on the afternoon of Dec. 12, 2016. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Thomas Taylor, died in the collision.
Following the accident, Anderson stated that he was attempting to turn around and pulled out onto Route 7 without looking. Subsequent investigation by law enforcement revealed that Anderson may have been attempting to take his own life so that his family would benefit from his life insurance policy.
Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of reckless driving on Jan. 19, 2018
Arguing in favor of the 12-month sentence, Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ryan W. Perry said Anderson either pulled out on to Route 7 without looking, exhibiting a disregard for life, limb, and property of other drivers on the road, or he intentionally caused the crash that took the life of another.
“Either way, the level of recklessness there is obscenely high, and it cost a man his life, it cost his parents their son, it cost his children their father, and it cost his fiancé an entire life without her betrothed,” Perry said Perry.
Before imposing the sentence, Brown addressed everyone in the courtroom.
“No sentence will bring Mr. Taylor back,” Brown said. “No sentence will really impact the defendant any more than what has already been done. So very frankly, without meaning any disrespect to either party, my focus is on the public, on people who will learn about this. The word will get out what was done to this man who was so reckless and in such disregard of human life that he pulled out in front of a truck.
“Maybe one person seeing this sentence will say ‘I better pay a little bit more attention’ and we will save one life.”