A Greenville man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter in the death of a Staunton man in a head-on collision.
The victim’s widow, two witnesses, a doctor and two Virginia State Police troopers took the stand in Augusta County Circuit Court to testify against Curtis W. Riley Jr., 46, about the events that led to the April 2010 death of Dale Scott Callison, 55, of Barterbrook Road.
Jane Callison, the victim’s wife, said she was waiting to meet her husband for dinner when the crash occurred about a mile from her home at the intersection of Route 608 and Highland Avenue.
Assistant Public Defender Linda Czyzyk said Riley was facing a bright setting sun at the time of the crash, while turning off Route 608 in Stuarts Draft, and couldn’t see Callison riding his motorcycle down a hill.
Standing in the pool area of the Highland Hills Apartments complex at the time, Crystal Souders-Ginise heard a loud bang.
“One of the kids ran out and confirmed it was a crash,” Souders-Ginise testified. “I turned around and yelled for people to call 911.”
Walking toward the intersection, she said she saw Riley’s gray 1988 Dodge Ram pickup next to a 1984 Harley Davidson Roadster motorcycle. Callison was on the ground.
“The man was walking around the truck … he was just kind of walking around and waving his arms,” Souders-Ginise said. “He seemed to be staggering and stumbling.”
Witnesses said Riley teetered from the scene only to be found hiding in a stairwell moments later by an off-duty state trooper.
“He was just sitting there,” Trooper Robert Fedorchuk testified. “He was mumbling a lot, I couldn’t understand him.”
Authorities said Riley had been driving on a suspended license.
Rescuers took him to Augusta Health in Fishersville, where blood testing turned up a 0.31 percent blood-alcohol level, police said. The legal limit to drive in Virginia is 0.08.
Riley pleaded guilty to manslaughter, failure to stop at the scene of a crime, driving on a suspended license and possession of methamphetamine. He is scheduled for sentencing July 28.
After the hearing, nearly 40 of Callison’s family members stepped outside the courthouse to pray.