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Stafford Sheriff's Office identifies woman killed by wrong-way driver

Stafford Sheriff's Office identifies woman killed by wrong-way driver

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The driver killed by a fleeing suspect driving the wrong way on U.S. 1 Friday evening was identified by the Stafford County Sheriff's Office Monday as 61-year-old county resident Martha Chavez.

According to a Sheriff's Office release, Chavez was driving north in the area of 2286 Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1) when her Nissan Rogue was struck head-on by a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe speeding south in the northbound lanes. The Tahoe driver, 25-year-old Daontre Kalio Waters of Culpeper, is charged with offenses that include felony murder, felony eluding and attempted capital murder.

According to Sheriff's Maj. Shawn Kimmitz, the incident began about 7:25 p.m. Friday when a deputy was sent to a home on Colonial Avenue in southern Stafford for a reported robbery. A resident had returned home to find a stranger in the home carrying a duffel bag.

Kimmitz said the resident was threatened by the stranger and briefly subdued. After getting himself free, the resident discovered that various items, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, had been stolen.

According to Kimmitz, another deputy soon spotted the Tahoe heading north on U.S. 1 near the Rappahannock Regional Jail going 84 mph in a 50-mph zone. The deputy pursued the speeding Tahoe, and the suspect briefly lost control of the Tahoe and went partially onto the sidewalk at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Tamar Creek Lane.

The suspect regained control and continued north. The deputy caught up with the suspect in the area of Austin Run Boulevard and utilized a contact maneuver that caused the Tahoe to spin and stop. As the deputy began ordering the suspect out of the vehicle, a second deputy arrived.

Kimmitz said the suspect got back into the Tahoe and drove toward the second deputy. He struck the police cruiser, which hit the deputy and knocked him into the air, Kimmitz said. The deputy fired several rounds, striking the fleeing Tahoe, but not the suspect.

The suspect then fled south in the northbound lanes and, after traveling about half a mile, struck Chavez's vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Office release. Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in her Nissan was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Waters was arraigned Monday in Stafford General District Court, where a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 8. Kimmitz said the investigation is ongoing and more charges are pending.

Waters is being held in the regional jail.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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