October 8, 2010
William Thomas Thompson was served three additional charges in relation to his involvement in the fatal car wreck on Earlysville Road on Monday.
Albemarle County Police originally charged Thompson with a DUI, but now he faces three additional charges, including aggravated involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and failure to wear a seat belt.
Well-known Virginia Wine Maker, Daniel Mark Neumeister, was killed in the collision. A memorial service will be held for him on Friday afternoon, October 8.
The 2pm service at Sugarleaf Vineyards will honor his success and reflect on his life.
Albemarle County Police say a 2001 Ford Taurus, driven by Thompson, of Ruckersville, was traveling eastbound on Earlysville Road shortly before 2pm Monday. Thompson, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, lost control and swerved into a motorcycle in the 3700 block of Earlysville Road, near the intersection with Norwood Lane.
Neumeister, of Crozet, was operating the motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neumeister, who was recently married, worked for eight years as a winemaker at White Hall and Sugarleaf vineyards. He was very well-known and admired for his palate and precision. Friends and colleagues say Neumeister was a meticulous and intelligent man, and his award-winning wines were just starting to gain him recognition and fans on a national stage.
"[Daniel] was definitely on the cusp of being recognized as one of the top-tier winemakers in the state in this industry. The wines that he has made are still here. After that, everybody is just going to miss out," said friend and vineyard manager, Andy Reagan.
Thompson, the 58-year-old driver of the Ford Taurus, was airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.
Based on the information gathered by the Albemarle County Police Department Crash Reconstruction Team, Thompson has been charged with driving under the influence. Additional charges are pending further investigation.
This is the eighth fatality on Albemarle County roadways in 2010.
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