ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — A woman has been sentenced to jail and probation for a 2020 crash that killed an Emory & Henry College student.
Lauren Nicole Salyer entered an Alford plea Wednesday on one count of reckless driving and one count of involuntary manslaughter, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Joshua Cumbow. An Alford plea recognizes that there may be enough evidence for a guilty verdict, but the defendant does not admit to criminal acts.
According to the commonwealth’s attorney, Salyer was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and two years unsupervised with 300 hours of community service for the involuntary manslaughter charge. For reckless driving, she received four months in jail and lost her license for a year.
Investigators said Salyer, an Emory & Henry student at the time, was driving an SUV on a gravel road near the college when the vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree, killing fellow student Gracie Dimit. Salyer and two other passengers were injured, state police said.
In May, Dimit’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Emory & Henry, claiming his daughter’s death was the result of the college’s negligence surrounding Greek life activities at the school. Salyer and Dimit were sorority sisters and were participating in a dangerous activity known as “The 500” at the time of the crash, the lawsuit says.
Salyer will begin her jail sentence this Friday, according to the commonwealth’s attorney.