By Olivia Hampton
A former Washington and Lee student is now facing additional charges of involuntary manslaughter and maiming after a tragic car wreck in December. The crash resulted in the death of W&L senior Kelsey Durkin and the hospitalization of three other students.
Nicholas Hansel, 21, was charged with driving under the influence and refusing a blood or breathalyzer test immediately following the Dec. 3 accident.
Christopher Billias of the Rockbridge County Commonwealth Attorney’s office said it took time to compile the information required to present the new charges.
“We wouldn’t want to charge him with something we didn’t think we could prove,” Billias said.
The new evidence includes Hansel’s blood test results, which were not immediately available because he refused testing at the site of the accident. Hansel’s blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit, according to the forensic analysis documents.
Billias said the new charges of involuntary manslaughter and DUI maiming were no surprise to Hansel’s attorney.
“They knew for a while they were bringing charges,” he said.
Billias said DUI maiming occurs when a passenger has “serious and permanent injuries” as a result of the driver’s intoxication.
Hansel could be facing between one and 20 years in prison if convicted of aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
Hansel will appear in court on March 5 for a hearing on his original charges. At that time, he will be formally charged.