Woman charged in deadly hit-and-run on I-64 appears in court

Credit: Hampton Police Division

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The woman accused of hitting a man on a motorcycle and leaving him on the side of the interstate faces more serious charges since he died Sunday night.

Johnathan Verner’s family watched 29-year-old Amber Davidson shuffle into a Hampton court room Monday morning, shackled at the wrists and ankles.

Davidson showed no emotion, but looked back at Verner’s family as a deputy led her back into jail.

“It was very upsetting for all of us,” said Verner’s father, Bob Buck. “She looked right at me, and I told her ‘You killed my son.’ She got the message because I looked right in her eyes. […] There wasn’t any remorse in those eyes.”

Virginia State Police say Davidson hit Verner on on Interstate 64 near Mercury Boulevard, then continued driving.

A trooper on routine patrol found Verner, who had been on his way to work, laying on the road, severely injured.

Meanwhile, according to investigators, a driver who had witnessed the crash called 911 while following Davidson.

Troopers arrested her on a drunk driving charges at a 7-11 on Aberdeen Road.

It took until noon for before troopers could find Verner’s wallet to identify him and begin notifying his family in Mathews, Buck said.

His wife, mother, and other loved ones surrounded Verner at the hospital, where doctors said nothing could be done to save him.

“They had to remove the back of his skull and lay his head open. His face was very disfigured, hardly recognizable, his eyes were swollen shut,” said Buck.

But the worst part came when doctors took Verner off life support, and Buck listened to the sound of his son’s last breaths.

“It kept going on and on,” Buck said. “He was trying. He was a strong man, and he was trying to live, but he was dying, because his brain was dead. I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Buck hopes his family’s horror and grief serves as a lesson to others who choose to drink.

“People like to party, everyone likes to have fun. Stay home. If you go out, have someone take you home. If you have to, knock that person down who wants to drive,” he said. “I just want people to think. You don’t do that. You don’t shatter a family. These are all good people.”

Buck remembers his son as an especially good person, who worked hard to support his wife and three girls.

“He was always smiling. Always laughing and playing with his kids.”

Now that Verner will never smile, or laugh, or play with his kids again, Buck can’t think of a punishment harsh enough for the woman who took that away.

“It’s not just a life, it’s the value of that life. He was a good man. Everyone loved him. He was always ready to help people.”

The most serious charge against Davidson is involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for February 3.

Verner’s family set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for his wife and three daughters.

 

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