Three Emporia children killed in crash where police said alcohol was a factor

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 14:42:52-04

EMPORIA, Va. - Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal crash that claimed the lives of three Emporia children on July 23.

Around 11:30 p.m., police were notified of a motor vehicle crash which had the left lane of southbound I-95 blocked in Greensville County.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Shaketa Denise Williams was traveling southbound in a 2013 Honda CRV when she was struck in the rear by a 2016 Dodge Ram. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to strike the guard rail and spin out of control, causing the Dodge Ram to lose control, overturning in the median, VSP said.

Williams suffered non-life threatening injuries, but two of the female passengers, ages nine and 11, died upon impact. Police also said a third 12-year-old female was taken to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SRMC) with life threatening injuries and later flown to Virginia Commonwealth University where she succumbed to her injuries on July 25.

The driver of the Dodge Ram, 49-year-old Travis Benjamin Vigil, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to SRMC.

According to VSP, alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.

After the investigation, three arrest warrants were placed on Vigil for felony involuntary manslaughter.

On August 27, with the assistant of the United States Marshal Service, Vigil was arrested and taken into custody in Montana. He is currently being held without bond at the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office awaiting extradition back to Virginia.