Man killed in crash, driver charged

A 38-year-old man died early Monday after he was thrown from the back seat of an SUV that was involved in a crash in Prince William County, officials said.

The incident happened about 2:42 a.m. near James Madison Highway and Thoroughfare Road in Gainesville, according to police. The man was identified as Jose Nelvin Romero Maldonado, of Warrenton.

Officials said the crash happened when a 2001 Toyota 4Runner was headed north on James Madison Highway and the driver lost control. The vehicle went off the road and rolled.

Maldonado, who was riding in the back seat, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. Another man who was in the front seat of the vehicle suffered minor injuries.

Police said Monday night that they had arrested a man they described as the driver involved in the crash. They said Vicente Martir Vides Vasquez, 21, of Warrenton, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, hit and run causing death, and driving without a license.

— Dana Hedgpeth

I-66 toll tops $46 for a solo driver

The toll on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway reached $46.50 for a solo driver during the Tuesday morning rush, just below the record of $47.25 set last month.

There were no major crashes in the region for much of Tuesday morning, but a heavy volume of commuters created delays on several highways. The toll then reached its peak about 8:30 a.m. as a crash partially blocked inbound lanes of the Roosevelt Bridge.

Eastbound I-66 backed up to the Glebe Road interchange, while George Washington Memorial Parkway delays extended to near the Route 123 interchange.

“Tolls are based on congestion,” said Michelle Holland, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation. “The more congested it is, the higher the toll, and that’s how we manage demand for the lanes so people who are on the lanes have free-flowing traffic.”

Drivers are charged to use the lanes during peak periods if they are alone, but usage is free with two or more occupants in a vehicle with an E-ZPass Flex transponder.

— Dana Hedgpeth

Sentencing in investment scheme

A Virginia man who teamed up with a former University of Virginia football player on a $10 million investment-fraud scheme has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Sherman Carl Vaughn, 46, of Blackstone, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Richmond. He pleaded guilty to cheating more than 50 investors.

Vaughn and his business partner, former U-Va. linebacker Merrill Robertson, ran the scheme through their company, Cavalier Union Investments.

Robertson used his football contacts to recruit investors over a seven-year period beginning in 2009. Vaughn presented himself as a sophisticated philanthropist when in reality he filed for bankruptcy four times.

The pair used the money on personal expenses, including vacations and spa trips.

Robertson, who was convicted in a jury trial lin December, received a 40-year sentence.

— Associated Press

Whale washes up at Chincoteague

Biologists are investigating the death of a humpback whale that washed up on the shore of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

The Daily Times reported that staff from the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach were at the scene Monday trying to determine a cause of death. The immature female was reported dead on the beach Sunday.

An aquarium spokesman said the whale had decomposed significantly, complicating efforts to determine cause of death. Dead whales washing up on Virginia beaches are not uncommon in the winter.

— Associated Press