Virginia Beach, V.A., Feb. 25 – Students at Virginia Commonwealth University headed to Virginia Beach, VA today to pay their last respects to a fellow student who was killed by a drunk driver just several days prior.
The victim, Carolina Perez, was killed in the early morning hours of Feb. 22 when the car she was an occupant in was rear-ended by a 2004 Mazda on Second Street in Richmond. According to the Richmond Police Department, the driver of the Mazda, Varinder Chanal, ran a red light on Canal Street and T-boned the 2007 Toyota Yaris in which Perez was a passenger.
“She has touched countless lives, just from being who she is, being a daughter of God, and she was just a beautiful person,” said Amy Klim, a friend of Perez.
Perez, a 19-year-old VCU sophomore biology major and a devoted member of the Cathedral’s Campus Ministry community, was well-known on campus as an advocate for safe driving practices.
Police arrested Chanhal, 23, in connection to the crash. He is charged was driving under the influence (DUI), refusal to submit a blood or breathalyzer test and felony manslaughter, according to a press release from the Richmond Police Department.
In the commonwealth of Virginia, felony manslaughter requires at least one year in prison and a maximum of twenty years behind bars. If convicted on all counts, Chanhal is likely to receive the maximum penalty.