Arrest made in fatal James City County crash, friend of victim: ‘He was the most giving man I knew’

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-01 19:01:21-04

James City County, Va. - Police have arrested a Mathews County man in connection to a fatal car crash that happened February 7th in James City County.

Robert Twiddy, 32, is charged with DUI Manslaughter.

The crash claimed the life of Jerry Minkins, 50.   The head-on collision happened on Pocahontas Trail near Ferrell Drive.

According to a Criminal Complaint filed in court, Twiddy's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit and he was driving 17 miles an hour over the speed limit.

Although the crash was in February, Twiddy was just charged on June 22.

Police say it took time to get his hospital records and complete their investigation.

Twiddy was in the hospital for a month after the crash.  Since then, police say he's been in jail in Mathews County on a prior DWI charge.

Minkins' death was a devastating loss for a lot of people in Hampton Roads.

"I felt like I had truly lost a family member," said Bob Stemann, District Manager with Farm Fresh

Stemann worked with him for 30 years.

Minkins worked his way up from courtesy clerk to store director, spending time at stores throughout the area including Williamsburg, Newport News and Portsmouth.

Stemann says Minkins volunteered his time with several organizations and mentored many of the young people he worked with.

"He was just one of the most giving people I've ever met," said Stemann.

He shared one of those stories about a young employee who had just started.

"This young man admitted to Jerry 'Hey, I've been mixed up in some wrong things and I'm looking to better myself,' and Jerry really worked with this guy, and now I think he's a police officer in Portsmouth," said Stemann.

Though the loss is still painful, Stemann says he's glad to hear the case is moving forward.

Twiddy is being held in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. He declined our request for an interview.