UPDATE: Chaquita Pettaway had her charges certified to the Grand Jury Friday in Petersburg General District Court. The date of her Grand Jur hearing, which is planned to take place in Petersburg Circuit Court, has not yet been set.
PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Chiquita D. Pettaway, the 34-year-old woman wanted in connection to an accident on I-95 that left one man dead, turned herself in Thursday.
Pettaway led police on a pursuit Tuesday night before crashing her vehicle on the exit ramp from I-95 south to S. Crater Road (Exit 50). At the time of the incident, Pettaway was arrested for drunk driving and was transported to a local hospital where she told police that no one else was in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
But after receiving information from the alleged victim’s family, police returned to the scene of the accident at around 8 p.m. Wednesday night to find a body which they think belongs to Michael D. Jones. The body was located “a very long distance away” in a swampy brush area, which police say explains why he was not initially noticed.
Petersburg police are waiting on confirmation on positive identification of the victim from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
After being charged with Driving While Intoxicated and refusing to take a blood/breath test, Pettaway was released by authorities. Since the discovery of the deceased victim at the scene of the accident, Pettaway’s charges have been increased to include Involuntary Manslaughter.
Friends of Pettaway say she is being wrongly accused and should not be under arrest.
“We’re not going to have that around here and we want justice for Miss Pettaway,” said Joe Harrison, a friend of Pettaway’s.
In a surprising twist, the father of Jones, the man who died in the accident, says he couldn’t agree more with the family and friends of Pettaway’s.
“I don’t hold nothing against her, nobody in my family does, I don’t think she did anything wrong,” said Michael Hobson, Jones’s father.
In fact, they want Pettaway, who sits behind bars tonight, released back home.
“I know my son don’t want his old lady behind bars,” Hobson said. “I don’t want to see her behind bars, she’s got kids she got a family man that loves her and it’s for real.”
Pettaway has had previous run-ins with the law. Prior to this incident, she had been convicted previously for DUI, Driving on a Suspended License, Driving on a Revoked License, Destruction of Property, Failure to Yield, Failure to Properly Restrain Child, and Turning Improperly.
Petersburg Police say they are paying close attention to Pettaway’s most recent address, which happens to be across the from their headquarters.
Anyone with any leads as to the whereabouts of Pettaway should contact the Petersburg police at 804-732-4222.
Stay with 8News for updates.