Teen charged with DUI after fatal accident

Published 11:27 pm Sunday, April 29, 2012

The 17-year-old male driver in a fatal vehicle crash that occurred early Sunday admitted to police that he had been drinking, according to a police report released Monday.

A passenger, 18-year-old Ian Michael Burgett, died of his injuries at the hospital.

Burgett was a senior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy who participated on the soccer, swimming, sailing and tennis teams and planned to attend James Madison University in the fall, according to his obituary.

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The accident occurred about 2:11 a.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of Cherry Grove Road North. The driver was operating a 1998 BMW Z3 and ran off the road in a curve at about 66 miles per hour, according to the police report. The speed limit there is 45 mph, and the road is not lit, according to the police report.

The vehicle left the road to the right and struck a mailbox post, crossed the ditch, struck a Verizon phone box and then struck a tree. Neither of the occupants was wearing a seat belt.

Ashley Greene, spokeswoman for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, said the school is making counselors available to support the school community.

“We’re taking each thing as we can,” she said. “We’re just really focused right now on supporting the students, faculty and staff and the family.”
She did not know how long Burgett had attended the school but said he has been part of the NSA community for a while.

“We’re just sad,” she said. “It’s tragic, and we are sad. Today is a tough day for everybody.”

Burgett is survived by his parents, an older brother, two grandmothers and many extended family members, according to his obituary. He had planned to attend medical school after graduating from JMU.

The driver has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and failure to wear a seat belt, according to the report. The case will be sent to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for determination of further charges.