The man involved in the county’s first fatal traffic crash of 2016 pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, cocaine, a generic form of Xanax and to reckless driving in Albemarle County Circuit Court June 21 as part of a plea agreement.
On March 15, 2016, Frayser “Kip” White IV allegedly crossed double-solid yellow lines in his Audi on Ivy Road and collided head-on with 81-year-old Carolyn Wayne, who was driving a Buick and died at the scene.
Though he was sentenced to 18 months and given credit for the several months he has already served, White—whose grandfather founded Virginia Oil and whose father-in-law is director Hugh Wilson—turned to the victim’s family and said, “My actual sentence is a life sentence of sorrow and pain.”
“No words can express my sorrow,” he said. “It’s a tragedy for which I take full responsibility. …I also ask what I can do, if anything, to help your family begin to heal.”
At the scene of the wreck, a witness allegedly saw White drop something behind a nearby bush before police arrived. Upon inspection, officers found it to be a foil packet of alprazolam, the generic form of Xanax, for which White did not have a prescription. The other drug charges—both felonies—stem from residue police say they found in a baggy in his car.
White was initially charged with his second DUI in five years, but prosecutors dropped the charge after finding no evidence he had been drinking. Blood tests revealed no alcohol or illegal drugs or narcotics in his system. For this reason, prosecutors also dismissed a pending involuntary manslaughter charge on July 29.
His attorney, John Zwerling, said White has been in rehabilitative counseling for the past 15 months. He has also attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings five to seven days a week. Zwerling called this a “dedication to sobriety.”
As part of the plea agreement White entered, the court will take both felony drug charges under advisement for a five-year period, and they will be dropped if he follows all conditions, including abstaining from drug and alcohol use, taking random drug and alcohol tests and successfully completing five years of supervised probation. Additionally, his license has been suspended for the same amount of time.
Kimberly Rose, the victim’s oldest granddaughter, spoke at the hearing about her beloved “Mimi,” who played bridge weekly, walked her dog, Sweetie Pie, every day, taught her to crochet and was “tragically killed” by White.
“I cannot forgive Mr. White for what happened,” she said, and she asked that he get the help he needs to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
In recent history, a couple of other prominent white men have made similar headlines for car crashes on county roads that resulted in a dead elderly person and a short jail sentence.
When realtor Andrew Middleditch was charged with involuntary manslaughter for a 2015 Memorial Day drunk-driving crash that killed 78-year-old Lonnie Branham, he was sentenced to five years in prison, but only served 140 days.
In August 2014, Charlottesville author and world renowned journalist Donovan Webster killed 75-year-old Wayne Thomas White on Route 151 in a similar drunk-driving and involuntary manslaughter case. He pleaded guilty to the charges in February 2015 and was sentenced to two years in jail.