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Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 03/15/2011

Fairfax man killed in alleged drunk driving crash

A Fairfax County man, driving on Route 1 near Fort Belvoir Monday night, was killed when another car suddenly struck his and drove him into oncoming traffic, Fairfax police said Tuesday.

The victim was identified as Paul J. Krause, 54, of Glenbarr Court in Fairfax Station.


(Fairfax County Sheriff)
Police said the other driver was drunk, and after the crash, he allegedly climbed out of the car with a three-year-old boy and ran away. Police arrested the man a short distance away. He was identified as Carlos Sanchez-Ramos, 31, of Grandview Court in the Springfield area.

Sanchez-Ramos was charged with having a blood-alcohol content of between 0.15 and 0.20, which is roughly twice the legal definition of intoxication in Virginia. In addition to his second driving while intoxicated charge within five years, Sanchez-Ramos also was charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, driving on an alcohol-related revoked license, child endangerment and two counts of felony hit and run.

Sanchez-Ramos apparently is not in the U.S. legally. A spokesman for the Fairfax County sheriff’s office said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer on Sanchez-Ramos after he was checked through the federal agency’s Secure Communities program. A spokesman for the immigration agency could not immediately be reached.

Fairfax court records show that Sanchez-Ramos is a native of Honduras. Two sources familiar with the case said he had previously been deported, but ICE officials did not immediately confirm that.

Court records show that in his previous drunk-driving arrest, Sanchez-Ramos also was charged with a blood-alcohol content between 0.15 and 0.20. The breathalyzer sheet shows that Sanchez-Ramos recorded a 0.16 on Nov. 22, 2007.

The charge carries a mandatory minimum five-day jail sentence. But prosecutors agreed to reduce the blood-alcohol content to 0.14, eliminating the jail time.

The three-year-old boy with Sanchez-Ramos was not harmed. It was unclear whether the boy was his son.

Krause was driving a 2010 Ford Fusion north on Richmond Highway near Telegraph Road about 5:22 p.m., Wright said. Police said the driver of a 1994 Honda Civic traveling in the same direction apparently lost control of the Civic and struck the Fusion.

The Fusion then veered into the southbound lanes and was struck head-on by a 2010 Mercedes Benz, police said. Krause was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:44 p.m.

The driver and passenger in the Mercedes, a 77-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman, were taken to a hospital for injuries that are not considered life threatening, police said.

A 31-year-old man who was a passenger in Sanchez-Ramos’s car also received minor injuries and was taken to a hospital. He did not flee the scene, police said.

Court records show that in November 2007, Sanchez-Ramos was charged with drunk driving and driving without a license. Sanchez-Ramos pleaded guilty to both charges in January 2008. He was given a 60-day jail sentence, with all time suspended, a fine of $300 and court costs of $182, a fairly standard sentence in Fairfax for first-time drunk drivers. He was also fined $250, and $11 in court costs, for failing to have a license. He paid the $743 combined total in fines and fees in April 2009.

[This post has been updated.]

By  |  04:25 PM ET, 03/15/2011

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