Joint trial underway for DUI suspects of fatal Va. Beach crash

Charles Hazer and Dennis Brito both face DUI related charges. (Photo courtesy: Virginia Beach police)
Charles Hazer and Dennis Brito both face DUI related charges. (Photo courtesy: Virginia Beach police)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A joint trial is underway for two men accused in a 2015 car crash that killed one person and injured several others.

Dennis Brito, 33, and Charles Hazer, 32, were both charged with involuntary manslaughter for the crash. Brito is also facing charges of DUI and refusal of test, while Hazer is charged with DUI and disorderly conduct.

The two men were driving cars that collided at the intersection of Newtown Road and Greenwich Road in April of 2015. The crash killed 33-year-old Heidi Friedman, who was a passenger in Brito’s car.

Four others were injured in the crash. One of them was hospitalized with serious injuries.

DUI suspects get more charges in Va. Beach fatal crash

Hazer was ruled to have been at fault for the crash. Prosecutors say he was going 70 mph in a 35 mph zone when he hit Brito’s car. Hazer pleaded guilty in court Tuesday. He is set to be sentenced February 6.

A toxicologist from the state, Connie Luckie, took the stand Tuesday and said Brito’s blood alcohol content was somewhere in the range of .14 to .16, which is equivalent to drinking seven or eight beers in an hour.

The defense for Brito is claiming that is does not matter that he was drunk at the time the crash, because there was nothing he could have done.

Officer after officer testified Tuesday, and each said Brito had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol at the scene.

Brito had two passengers: Friedman, who was in the backseat, and Jennifer Tanner, the front passenger. When rescue crews got on the scene of the crash, Tanner was unconscious and pinned under the car. She had to be cut from the vehicle to get out.

Tanner said in court Tuesday that the crash shattered her pelvic bone and femur and caused both of lungs to collapse. She said she still suffers from a brain injury.

The trial has wrapped up for Tuesday and will continue Wednesday. Stay with WAVY.com for the latest updates.