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A 22-year-old Bedford County man left the Bedford County Circuit Court courtroom, Tuesday morning, to immediately start serving his prison term for a crash that killed a Montvale teen last fall.
Aaron Scott Jayne pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) and aggravated involuntary manslaughter. Judge James Updike, in accordance with a plea agreement reached between Jayne’s defense attorney and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Wheelock, sentenced Jayne to 12 months on the DUI charge and 10 years in prison, suspended after three years, for the manslaughter charge.
The sentences are to run consecutively, giving Jayne four years of active jail time. His driver’s license was suspended indefinitely, but Jayne will be able to petition the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his license back after his release from prison. Getting it back will require him having an ignition interlock installed. Jayne will also be on three years supervised probation after his release.
According to Wheelock, the crash happened in Montvale on Oct. 7, around midnight. Jayne was eastbound on U. S. 460 at a high rate of speed when he lost control in the sharp curve, just prior to the tank farms, went off the right side of the road, hit an embankment and overturned. Neither Jayne nor his passenger, 15-year-old Lewis Dickenson, were wearing seatbelts and both were ejected from Jayne’s 1994 Honda Civic. Jayne survived, but Dickenson was killed. They were only a mile from Dickenson’s home at the time, according to Dickenson’s mother, Marion Dickenson.
Wheelock said that a Virginia State Police reconstruction of the crash indicated that Jayne was traveling at 131 mph. He said Jayne’s blood/alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
The Dickenson family is satisfied with the sentence and doesn't hold any animosity toward Jayne.
“He was a good friend of my oldest son,” she said. The couple have another son who is 23.
“It’s just a tragic thing that happened,” she added.
Lewis Dickenson was a freshman at Liberty High School and liked to tinker with cars.
“Even though he was only 15, he was pretty good at it,” said William Dickenson, his father. “He wanted to go in the service and be a mechanic.”
William Dickenson described a close father/son relationship with Lewis.
“We used to hunt and fish together,” he said.
His job also made it possible for his son to spend time with him in the summer. William Dickenson is a long-haul tractor-trailer driver. In the summer, when school was out, Lewis would ride with his father on two- and three-day hauls and the two would talk.
“It’s our hope that young people will learn that drinking and driving is dangerous,” Wheelock said.
“And, wear your seat belt,” William Dickenson added.
Wheelock said that Jayne has never been in trouble before.
“Prison will be a rude awakening for him,” he said.