Virginia State Police say that a 19-year-old man from Williamsburg died on the night of April 10 after a collision on Richmond Road involving another driver who was charged with driving under the influence.

State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash at approximately 11:45 p.m. that night at the intersection of Barnes and Richmond roads in northern James City County.

State Police Sgt. Tim Brown says that 19-year-old Christopher V. Mellis was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

According to Brown, 36-year-old New Kent resident Matthew R. Burch was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter and DUI. He is being held in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail without bond.

Brown says that as Mellis was northbound on Richmond Road, the 1996 Chrysler Cirrus he was driving was struck head-on by the southbound 2002 Jeep Liberty driven by Burch.

Brown said that investigators believe that the Jeep Liberty had crossed over the center line into the northbound lane, where both vehicles eventually came to rest.

Court documents reveal that the DUI charge is the third offense for Burch, making it a felony.

Burch was arraigned on charges of involuntary manslaughter, DUI, second offense possession of marijuana, third offense refusal of blood/breath test, operating a vehicle without insurance, and operating a vehicle with a radar detector or jamming device.

Bob Battle
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