VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach man will spend over three years behind bars for a DUI accident that left an elderly pedestrian with severe, life-altering injuries.
30-year-old Richard Lee Buckhout Jr. was sentenced to three years, 10 months after pleading guilty to DUI- Victim Permanently Impaired, DUI, and Possession of Schedule IV Controlled Substance.
Investigators said that on the afternoon of December 1, 2018, Buckhout was driving in the 3200 block of Edinburgh Drive when he hit a 73-year-old woman. Minutes earlier, a witness saw Buckhout driving erratically, on the wrong side of the road, and stopping in the middle of an intersection.
The witness lost sight of Buckhout for a brief period, but then saw him hit the victim, who had been standing beside her vehicle. Another witness also saw Buckhout speeding down the street when he hit the pedestrian.
According to prosecutors, police arrived to find the victim severely hurt, with both of her legs fractured, and Buckhout and his passenger on the grass near the road. They said Buckhout could not hold himself up and kept closing his eyes as if he were about to fall asleep. He reportedly asked if the woman was OK and stated, “I didn’t think I would hit her.” He then laid back into the grass and fell asleep, snoring.
Buckhout told detectives he did drink a beer that morning and also took Valium. Seven Valium pills were found in his car.
A blood draw at the hospital revealed his BAC was .10 and enough Valium in his system that was so excessive, it was outside the therapeutic range of the medication.
The victim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries for two weeks, followed by rehabilitation. Authorities said she had surgery on both of her legs and left arm, and sustained numerous other injuries she will suffer the effects of for the rest of her life.