VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia State Police is investigating a single-vehicle crash that left the vehicle's driver severely injured and a passenger dead early Sunday morning.
According to police, the crash happened at about 1:28 a.m. on I-264 West near Independence Boulevard.
According to the investigation, the driver, 23-year-old Leevonte Akeem Mullen, was traveling at a high rate of speed. He attempted to get off the Independence Boulevard exit, when the vehicle ran off the roadway, overturned, and struck a tree.
Mullen was taken to the hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries, and the passenger, 25-year-old Akili Roosevett McGruder, died upon impact due to their injuries.
Police say both were wearing their seatbelts. Alcohol and speed are reported to play a contributing factor.
The Virginia State Reconstruction Team responded to investigate the crash. Two lanes of I-264 West were closed during the investigation and have since reopened.
On April 19, 2022, Mullen pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence. He will remain in custody in the Virginia Beach City Jail until he is sentenced on August 23, 2022.