COURT DOCUMENTS: Driver of vehicle in fatal crash near Emory & Henry was smoking marijuana before crash, faces involuntary manslaughter charge

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A woman has been charged in the death of a 20-year-old Emory & Henry student that occurred in July.

According to Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow, Lauren Nicole Salyer, 21, of Hiltons, Virginia, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gracie Dimit, 20, of Marion.

According to VSP, Salyer was driving an SUV down Itta Bena Road on July 17, when the vehicle ran off the left side and hit a tree.

According to court documents, Dimit was seated behind the driver’s seat and “died from blunt force trauma to the head due to the tree’s impact on her door.”

The warrant shows that road Salyer was driving down is known as “The 500” to local college students. The complaint states that “At the curve, the students say they try to drift/fish tail the vehicle.”

Investigating troopers stated they smelled alcohol coming from Salyer. According to the warrant, she told them she had drank part of a margarita, “but did not finish it.”

According to the warrant, “Her blood showed 0% alcohol and trace amounts of THC. All Statement {sic} state the drive was smoking marijuana prior to the crash at a get together at her apartment.

The court documents show that the Division IV Crash Team “estimated (Salyer) to be going 45 mph.” According to troopers, the speed limit on the road is 35 mph.

Salyer was arrested on November 12 and charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

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