Suspect denies involvement in deadly scooter crash

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The suspect in a deadly scooter crash denies responsibility for a Norfolk woman’s death.

Norfolk police say Irvin Crutchlow, 61, hit and killed Tamika Gastinell, 29, Tuesday night. Police charged Crutchlow with driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

The crash happened just before 7 p.m. in the area of Kempsville Road and Lowery Road. Gastinell was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where she later died of her injuries.

Gastinell’s family says she was driving her scooter home from her job at Walmart when a vehicle hit her from behind.

“We just prayed that after surgery she would be okay, but then they came back they said they weren’t able to save her,” said Shanisha Gastinell, the victim’s sister.

Police say Crutchlow was driving the vehicle that hit Gastinell. In a jailhouse interview Wednesday, he told WAVY.com he was also leaving Walmart, driving down Lowery Road. And even though his vehicle was found at the scene with damage to the front end and windshield, he denies his involvement in the deadly accident.

“I did not hit no lady,” Crutchlow said. “I told you my car was damaged somewhere else. It was not damaged there.”

When asked repeatedly about his involvement, he said, “I didn’t kill her. I did not have anything to do with it.”

Crutchlow also denied he was under the influence of prescription drugs, though, he does acknowledge police found pill bottles inside his vehicle.

His words feel like daggers in the hearts of those who loved Gastinell most.

“To say that he did not hit her, that is hard,” Gastinell said. “First, you hit my sister and you kept going. People had to stop you. If that wasn’t enough, now you’re denying it.”

The family will miss Gastinell always, but especially on Thursday when they usually get together for weekly family dinners.

“We’ve just been thinking about how unreal it is,” said Shanisha Gastinell, the victim’s sister. “We still can’t believe she’s gone.”

The family asks anyone who witnessed the crash or the aftermath to contact Norfolk police via the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Crutchlow is being held in the Norfolk City Jail without bond.

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