Charlottesville Breaking News

Overcorrection: First Albemarle traffic fatality not weather related

After a year in which 21 people died on roads in Albemarle County, Djarad Robinson, 36, of Charlottesville became the first fatality of 2012 as a passenger in the back seat of a car that had run out of gas on Interstate 64 and was hit by a swerving 16-year-old driver.

A Chevy Malibu driven by Carleisha Washington, 32, of Troy was traveling east February 19 on I-64 when it coasted to a stop on the right side of the road at mile marker 120 near the Scottsville exit.

A 2002 Ford Explorer driven by the 16-year-old and carrying his 40-year-old father– both wearing seatbelts– ran off the road on the right, then on the left side, and swerved back to the right side of the road where it slammed into the parked Malibu at 2:30pm, according to state police.

The father and son were taken to UVA Medical Center, as were the Malibu driver and a passenger in the front seat, all with non-life-threatening injuries. Robinson also was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Virginia State Police say the crash was not weather related, and charges are pending against the teen, whose name was not released because he's a juvenile.

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Snow falls: Packable, throwable blanket precedes Prez Day

It had been the season without a snow accumulation– until the eve of President's Day, when the kiddies would already have the day off from school. Despite the irony, the sleds are sure to come out Monday the 20th after the Sunday night blanket of approximately three inches of wet, packable, throwable, buildable– and yes, sleddable– snow. (There are much better photos to be made Monday, but our photog decided to venture out in the middle of the flake-a-thon.)

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Closing arguments: Intent and malice debated in Love's death

Attorneys in the murder trial of George Huguely made their final pleas to the jury to convict– or not convict so harshly– the defendant for the death of Yeardley Love after the defense rested around 2pm Saturday, February 18. During the roughly 90 minutes each side spent, the prosecution hammered home the brutal attack on Love when she thought she was safe at home, and the defense argued that Huguely had no intent to murder Love or to steal her laptop– the taking of which added five additional felony charges to the first-degree murder charge he's facing.

Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman was practically weeping as he faced the jury and began to lay out his case.

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Not blunt force: Defense continues theme, as email angers judge

Winter wallop? Snow forecast up in the air

So far, winter 2012 hasn't been much like winter at all, with temperatures more than three degrees above average and snowfall nearly 14 inches below average. That could all begin to change this weekend, as the season's first major winter storm heads this way, expected to hit Sunday and continue overnight into Monday. But don't panic just yet, says State Climatologist Jerry Stenger.

"Right now," says Stenger, "it looks like it's going to be too warm to support snowfall or accumulation until enough cold air has gotten into place. By that point, most of the water will have already come down as rain."
While Stenger says Charlottesville and the surrounding area won't likely see more than an inch or two, he notes that March is the month in which Charlottsville typically gets the most snow– meaning we may not out of the winter woods just yet.

"It could wind up being a big difference," he adds, if this storm shifts 20 or 30 miles one way or the other. "That's the danger of winter forecasting here in Central Virginia."

Whatever happens, we can rest assured it won't be anything like Romania.

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