Community rallies support for cyclists killed, injured in alleged drunk driving crash
A court document said the 18-year-old suspect was “hallucinating” and “talking to individuals that were not present” while in jail.
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Emotions of shock and heartbreak continue to fill the hearts of many after Henrico Police said a teen driver hit and killed Jonah Holland and seriously injured Natalie Rainer while they were riding their bikes in the area of Osborne Turnpike and Village Field Lane on Saturday morning.
On Monday morning, 18-year-old Jeffrey Brooks made his first appearance in Henrico General District Court. Brooks is facing charges of manslaughter and driving under the influence. A criminal complaint filed in court also reveals more details about Brooks’ statements to officers.
The court document states Brooks was observed to be “incredibly unsteady on his feet.” The document adds Brooks had “slurred speech, bloodshot/watery eyes, and dilated pupils even though it was bright outside.”
It also reveals Brooks stated he had between 1-1.5 beers to drink two hours before. The document also adds, “he had not drank since the crash, was not injured in the crash and was the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash.”
The criminal complaint also said Brooks “performed poorly” on his standard field sobriety testing. Brooks blew .226, which is 11 times the legal limit in Virginia for those under 21. When he was arrested, Brooks blew .15. The complaint also adds Brook admitted: “to making and consuming edibles last night with friends.”
The court document also states Brooks “hallucinated during our interactions.” The criminal complaint reveals Brooks was “talking to individuals that were not present” and adds, “he would ask to be ‘let out at the 7-11 right there’ while in jail.”
The details come as family, friends and bicyclists in the Richmond area continue to process this crash that killed Holland and hurt Rainer. This includes Lilo Navales, president of the Richmond Triathlon Club. Navales is a good friend of Holland and Rainer.
“My heart completely just sank to the ground, and I’m still really in shock,” said Navales.“These women represent who we are as athletes and cyclists.”
Navales said she will always remember Jonah for her kindness, love of volunteering, and athleticism.
“She had a wonderful smile and was very helpful,” she said.
Navales also said Natalie is a very strong woman and remembers meeting her during one of her yoga classes for cyclists.
“I was very impressed with Natalie. She is so strong,” said Navales.
Henrico Police said Rainer is in critical but stable condition in the hospital. Natalie’s family members said she has a long recovery ahead and is asking the community for support and prayers during her recovery period. A GoFundMe page to support Natalie’s medical costs has raised more than $45,000 with a goal of $150,000.
Jonah Holland was well known as a prominent member of the community and worked at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for over 14 years.
“You know, we’ve lost one of our garden family members. It’s been really shocking, and I think many of us are still trying to comprehend the loss,” said Brian Trader, president and CEO of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, during an interview with NBC12 on Sunday.
Rainer was also a member of the SwimRVA family.
SwimRVA sent NBC12 the following statement:
“On behalf of SwimRVA and the Richmond community, we join many others as our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of both Natalie and Jonah during these incredibly difficult times. Natalie is a vibrant and driven member of the SwimRVA family. As the Assistant Director of Programs, she leads the Health & Wellness program for SwimRVA. She also runs our programming in Richmond’s east end at SwimRVA Church Hill, located at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. She is a passionate advocate for aquatic safety and fitness in the region. Her positivity is contagious, and she is a true example of what it means to be part of a community. We hope for a healthy and speedy recovery.”
As the community continues to pray for the family and friends of Jonah Holland and Natalie Rainer, Navales hopes this tragedy will make people more aware of the roads.
“They were on the road enjoying their passion, and I wish that you know, people will learn from this unfortunate tragedy that we are on the roads and to please give us space,” said Navales.
Brooks is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Aug. 29 at 8:30 a.m.
If you want to support Natalie’s recovery in the hospital, you can donate to her GoFundMe page.
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