Virginia Beach, Va. – A Virginia Beach man charged with reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter had methadone and ethanol in his system after the deadly crash, court records obtained by NewsChannel 3 said.
Neil Lyness was arraigned in Virginia Beach court Monday afternoon, at the same time family and friends gathered for Sandie Amaya and her daughter Sophie Lopez’s funeral.
According to Lyness’ bond worksheet, he was incoherent after the Wednesday night crash. Authorities said he drove through the median and into oncoming traffic on I-64 at the Indian River Road exit, and slammed his truck in the car Amaya was driving with her daughter inside. The two died at the scene.
Lyness was released from the hospital Friday and allowed to go home on a summons when police charged him with reckless driving, but when they charged him with involuntary manslaughter Saturday, they set out to arrest him.
Records said he hid at a campground before a friend convinced him to himself in to authorities.
The bond worksheet also said he then told police “I don’t see that I needed to be brought down here today.”
Laurel Adams, Sandie’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother, told NewsChannel 3 after the funeral she hopes Lyness understand what he’s done.
“I don’t harbour any ill will,” she said. “There’s no point in that. It doesn’t serve any purpose. I really don’t feel like my energy is needed in that direction. I can’t bring [Sandie] back and it can’t bring Sophie back. It can’t undo what happened.”
Lyness is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing November 7.
Lyness has faced several convictions in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach for causing accidents and driving without a valid license. He faces trial for grand larceny in Chesapeake next month.
Friends of the family are throwing a benefit concert next Monday, October 7, at Seaside Raw Bar on 21st street at the Oceanfront.