Authorities say 35-year-old Danielle Stappert was distracted by her children moments before hitting and killing 22-year-old Richard Shomette last Wednesday night.
Shomette was helping a family stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire when police say Stappert struck him. Authorities say Shomette threw his body in front of Stappert’s van to stop it from hitting the family he was helping.
“I’m not blaming anybody,” said Judy Dunn, Shomette’s grandmother. “I never held anything against her. It was a horrible accident.”
“I’m just so sorry that she’s going through this because if you can all imagine what it would be to kill somebody and then know you’ve killed that person and how you’re feeling about that,” said Dunn. “I want everybody just to give her hugs and kisses for us, and take care of her. All of her friends and relatives, comfort her now because this is a hard thing to go through and nobody’s blaming her.”
Stappert has a court appearance scheduled for next week in Newport News traffic court. Efforts to reach her for comment were not returned.