The Bristol Herald Courier is reporting that the word “accident” still sticks in the throat of Joe Goff when he talks about the 2006 wreck that killed his brother and a Buchanan County supervisor.
The driver at fault, Paul David Kennedy, veered into oncoming traffic, lost control of his gravel truck and slammed head-on into the pickup carrying Robert Frank Goff and Joseph Keene, both supervisors at Jewell Smokeless Coal Corp.
Last week, a Buchanan County judge gave Joe Goff – and surviving family members of both men – a new choice of terms to describe the fatal incident: involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving.
Kennedy, 41, of Pounding Mill, Va., was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to the state’s charges. Buchanan County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Johnson suspended 7½ years of the sentence, contingent on Kennedy’s successful completion of six years of active supervised probation.
Gerald Arrington, the special prosecutor who brought the state’s charges against Kennedy, called his actions “callous,” noting his lack of remorse during the legal proceedings and his subsequent traffic violations after the fatal February 2006 collision.
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