Friends and family said on January 12 that 30-year-old Virginia Beach resident Clyde. D Covington Jr. was the responsible one to them and his co-workers and supervisors at Stihl Inc. say he was a rising star. They said that made it difficult for them to believe he had been driving under the influence when he collided with the vehicle of 39-year-old Virginia Beach resident Jane Gardner, killing her, on May 4.
After the wreck, Covington’s blood-alcohol content registered at 0.09, slightly over the legal limit of 0.08. According to his attorney, he had consumed three beers while having dinner with friends before the crash.
On September 29, Covington pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, DUI, and failure to comply with a traffic signal. On January 12, he was sentenced to a prison sentence of five years and one month and was ordered to pay $600 in fines.
Gardner’s family testified that they had forgiven Covington, whose friends and family testified that he was a good man who made a poor decision. He apologized to Gardner’s family while on the witness stand.