Crash-related felony charges sent to grand jury

In Rappahannock County District Court this Tuesday (Dec. 15), the case of 26-year-old Haymarket resident Rajesh Pramod Patil, charged with eluding/disregarding police, a felony, was certified to the grand jury. Two misdemeanor charges of general reckless driving and reckless driving at speeds in excess of 80 to 130 mph that resulted in an accident were dropped.

On Aug. 19, Virginia State Police Trooper S.J. Riddle reported that a motorcycle, operated by Patil, with his passenger, Rachel C. Kieler, 21, seated behind him, took off at a high rate of speed from the traffic light at Clevenger’s Corner in Culpeper County, heading west on U.S. 211. Riddle attempted to pull them over, but the motorcycle sped away. The trooper chased them into Rappahannock County.

As they approached the town of Washington, near the entrance to the Rappahannock County Library and Visitors Center, police said Patil turned off the four-lane highway and headed down Old Mill Road. On the curve just before Old Mill reaches Warren Avenue, the driver lost control. Both Patil and Kieler were seriously injured when they crashed and were thrown from the bike at the end of the 15-mile, high-speed chase. The bike and Patil wound up in a ditch alongside Warren; Kieler wound up about 20 feet away, atop the embankment. Both were flown to Fairfax Inova Hospital.

At his arraignment on Oct. 6, Patil appeared in district court in a neck brace and on crutches due to an apparent broken leg. At the time, Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff said Kieler’s injuries would prevent her appearance in court until after Thanksgiving.

Steven Douglas Lignon Jr., 31, of Fairfax, was sentenced on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct (amended from obstructing justice without force) and swearing in public while intoxicated. He was ordered to pay $491 in fines and court costs.

Robert George Uda; Jr., 45, of Dumfries, was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of driving after being declared a habitual offender. His case was continued to Jan. 5.


About Patty Hardee 294 Articles
Writer, consultant, actor, director, recovering stand-up comic, Patty covers the county’s courts and other topics of interest for Rappahannock News. She lives with her grape-growing husband Bill Freitag in Flint Hill.