April 25, 2024

Commonwealth v. Nathan Louis Poole; Driver Convicted in Marijuana Impairment Case; One Killed, Another Severely Injured

Virginia Beach, Va. – Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Nathan Louis Poole, age 26, formerly of the 800 block of Sydenham Blvd in Chesapeake, Virginia was found guilty by a jury on charges of Involuntary Manslaughter-DUI, DUI – Maiming, and DUI.  Circuit Court Judge Tanya Bullock, who presided over the four-day jury trial, will sentence Poole on August 15, 2024.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on August 22, 2022, Nathan Louis Poole was driving while under the influence of marijuana when he struck two ladies, killing one of them and severely injuring the other.  Rosa Blanco and her cousin, Concepcion Blanco, were leaving a restaurant in the Town Center area of Virginia Beach after celebrating Rosa’s birthday.  As they entered a crosswalk, Poole struck them with his vehicle.  In video surveillance, Poole’s vehicle was captured rolling over the women without applying the brakes.  Blanco died at the scene.  Her cousin suffered severe, permanent injuries, requiring five weeks’ hospitalization and continuing medical care. 

Police arrived on scene and began to investigate the crash.  A police officer administered Field Sobriety Tests and other divided attention tasks to Poole, and he showed impairment on most of the tests.  The police officer noted that Poole smelled of burnt marijuana. He stated that he was a very heavy marijuana user but had not used marijuana since the night prior.  He later admitted using marijuana at 10:00 a.m. the day of the crash.  A toxicologist testified that the level of THC in Poole’s blood would indicate recent use, and have had major effects on judgment, attention, and reaction times. 

“The facts of this case prove that there are risks and consequences for driving while impaired from marijuana use,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Stolle stated.  “While there is no forensic standard for THC impairment, the jury clearly rejected the defense’s assertion that Poole was not impaired and sent the message that he should be held accountable for his actions that day.”

Poole has prior convictions for False Information on a Firearm Consent Form.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul J. Powers and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Katherine E. Griffith and Corie L. Bosley prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.

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