Christina M. Peele, 29, of Front Royal, appeared without an attorney for her arraignment for involuntary manslaughter on Friday, June 23, in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
Peele, currently jailed in Warren County, is charged with driving a 1994 dark green Ford Explorer the wrong way on I-66 West and killing Clifton resident Rawand Manuel Hirezi, 23, on April 1 around 2:10 a.m.
Hirezi was the passenger of a 2006 Honda Civic, driven by Fairfax resident Hootan Moeirzadeh, 27. Moeirzadeh was treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital for non-life threatening injuries, according to police reports. Hirezi died at the scene.
Numerous 911 calls were received from citizens on I-66 who reported the Ford Explorer traveling the wrong way on April 1 and with no headlights on. The Ford Explorer hit the Honda head on.
About three miles before the fatal accident, Peele spun out on I-66, according to police. People in three or more vehicles pulled over to assist Peele, but she pulled back into traffic and began traveling the wrong way in the westbound lanes.
Peele appeared disoriented and was not aware of the circumstances surrounding the accident, according to police reports. “She claimed she had no idea she had been driving eastbound in westbound travel lanes,” wrote Trooper Frederick A. Richens, who responded to the scene and filed a search warrant in the case.
Peele, dressed in an orange Warren County jail outfit, told Judge Marcus D. Williams that she hired an attorney. Williams set an August trial date, although that is expected to change once Peele’s attorney begins working on the case. Peele is scheduled to have a status hearing later this week.
<1b>— Ken Moore