FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 14, 2019
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
LOUDOUN DRIVER SENTENCED FOR DUI TRAFFIC FATALITY
JUDGE IMPOSES 25 YEARS IN PRISON
LEESBURG, Virginia – February 13, 2019. Patrick Ryan Hitzelberg, 29, appeared before the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, for sentencing on one count of felony homicide and one count of driving under the influence, third offense within ten years. Judge Burke F. McCahill sentenced Hitzelberg to serve 25 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
On the evening of March 8, 2018, Hitzelberg was driving westbound on Algonkian Parkway when he turned left on Potomac View Road striking an SUV in the eastbound lane of Algonkian Parkway. Steven Kimmel, the driver of the SUV, was ejected from his vehicle as a result of the impact. Mr. Kimmel succumbed to his injuries on March 14, 2018.
Law enforcement responding to the crash, observed Hitzelberg to be intoxicated. Hitzelberg admitted to having consumed several beers before driving that evening. Virginia State Police later located eleven empty beer cans and ten unopened beer cans in Hitzelberg’s vehicle. Subsequent to his arrest, Hitzelberg consented to a sample of his breath being taken. Test results showed a blood alcohol concentration of .12.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Eric M. Shamis and Russet W. Perry prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Thirteen victim impact statements were submitted to the Court at sentencing and nearly fifty friends and family of the victim attended the hearing.
“This sentence sends a strong message that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be tolerated in our community. Too many lives have been lost because of the careless and reckless choice to drink and drive,” said Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Wittmann.
In addition to the active jail sentence, Judge McCahill imposed an additional 20 years of suspended prison time, a $1,000 fine, placed Hitzelberg on supervised probation for ten years, and ordered him to participate as a speaker at schools and community events about the dangers of drunk driving upon his release from jail. Hitzelberg’s privilege to operate a motor has been revoked indefinitely.