April 27, 2022

Commonwealth v. Nghiem Nghi Nguyen; Man Gets Max Sentence for Hit and Run Death

Virginia Beach, Va. – Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Nghiem Nghi Nguyen, age 48, formerly of the Binghamton, New York, was sentenced today for Hit and Run - Fatality. Circuit Court Judge A. Bonwill Shockley sentenced Nguyen to a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison. The Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines recommended a sentence of no greater than six (6) months in jail.

Nguyen pled guilty on December 20, 2021. If this matter had gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on May 28, 2021, Nguyen caused a two-vehicle crash that killed motorcyclist Philip Pereira. The crash occurred near the intersection of Indian River Road and Ferrell Parkway in Virginia Beach when Nguyen failed to yield to Pereira, causing Pereira to crash into the driver's side of Nguyen's truck. Pereira was flung from his motorcycle into the street, where he died from the impact. Nguyen fled the area without rendering aid to the victim, calling 911, or reporting the crash to the police.

The crash and Nguyen's vehicle were captured on video surveillance from private businesses as well as the city's camera system. Witnesses of the crash also provided police with a description of Nguyen's vehicle. Parts of the truck, including a large taillight, plastic bumper, and pieces of blue paneling, were found at the scene. Officers received an anonymous tip that led them to a repair facility in Binghamton, New York. At the request of Virginia Beach Police, Binghamton police officers interviewed the owner of the shop, who confirmed that Nguyen brought his truck in for repairs shortly after the crash. Nguyen told the shop owner, "I screwed up" and that he pulled out from a stop sign, was in a crash, and that somebody died. He further stated that he panicked and fled the scene. Investigators later learned that Nguyen reported the accident to his auto insurance carrier, admitting that he left the scene. When police and the Department of Forensic Science processed and analyzed Nguyen's battered truck, they determined that the parts found at the crash scene were a match to parts damaged or missing from the truck. Five days after the crash, once police through their investigation identified Nguyen as the driver and he was informed that he had an outstanding arrest warrant, Nguyen turned himself in to police.

Nguyen has a prior conviction for Entering Vehicle to Commit Crime from California, committed in 1991.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Wendy Alexander and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Morgan A. Claffy prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.

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