Andalusia man faces prison in crash deaths

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Andalusia man is facing two 20-year prison terms after being convicted in the deaths of two victims in an automobile crash in 2007.

David Worth Wiltshire, 49, was convicted on two counts of manslaughter by a jury in Covington County Circuit Court during a mid-November trial.

Christie Wright Still of Evergreen and Deanna K. Ingram Van Gieson of Theodore were both killed as a result of the crash.

At the time of the crash, witnesses said Wiltshire was driving recklessly and speeding on U.S. Highway 84 in the city of River Falls on March 1, 2007, when his vehicle crossed over the centerline into the westbound lane and struck a vehicle driven by Van Gieson.  Still was a passenger in Wiltshire’s car and she died at the scene. Van Gieson died two days later at Andalusia Regional Hospital. State troopers calculated that Wiltshire was driving 73 miles per hour and that the other vehicle was going 45 miles per hour.

The announcement of the sentencing was made by Attorney General Luther Strange following a hearing in Covington County Circuit Court Wednesday.

In the hear, Circuit Judge Charles Stout ordered the defendant to serve 20 years for the death of each victim. In addition, Wiltshire was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $1,000 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

“It is appropriate that this defendant will serve many years in prison for the tragedy that resulted from his reckless criminal actions,” Strange said. “I am pleased that this judge and jury have held him responsible for the decisions and actions he took that tragically cut short the lives of two women.”

The Attorney General’s office presented evidence at trial to show that Wiltshire was driving under the influence of a controlled substance, driving with a revoked license, driving recklessly, speeding, and on the wrong side of the road.  One witness testified that he had swerved to keep his car from being hit by Wiltshire before crashing into Van Gieson’s vehicle..

The case was initially presented to grand jury by the Covington County District Attorney’s Office with an indictment returned in September of 2007. The prosecution was subsequently handled by the Attorney General’s Office at the request of the District Attorney’s Office.

Attorney General Strange commended those involved in bringing this case to a successful conclusion, noting in particular Assistant Attorneys General Ben Baxley and Kelly Hawkins of the Violent Crimes Division and special agents of the Investigations Division. He also thanked the Alabama State Troopers, the Covington County District Attorney’s Office and the Andalusia Police Department.