VIRGINIA BEACH — A former reality TV personality is facing the possibility of spending more than 20 years in prison for the drunken crash that killed a Coast Guardsman last year.
Melissa Hancock, who was a frequent guest on Lifetime’s “Little Women: Atlanta” pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated involuntary manslaughter, failure to obey highway/traffic sign, and driving the wrong way.
According to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Hancock has not yet been served with the paperwork for the DUI (and that will be done soon). She’s expected to plead guilty to that charge on June 6.
The maximum penalty is “20 years and 12 months when the DUI charge is included,” according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Hancock will be sentenced on all the charges Oct. 10.
The crash that landed her in jail happened Nov. 4, 2017.
Authorities said Hancock, 25, was driving a 2011 Cadillac west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 264 near Birdneck Road at 2 a.m. when she struck head-on a vehicle driven by Daniel Dill, a petty officer second class in the Coast Guard. He was stationed in Portsmouth.
Dill was on his way to the Oceanfront to pick up his wife, Natalie, who was celebrating her birthday with friends. Daniel Dill had gone to dinner with his wife and family earlier in the evening and volunteered to be the designated driver.
Daniel Dill, authorities said, suffered “devastating blunt force trauma to his neck and torso,” and died at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
He was 29-years-old.
He had no alcohol or drugs in his system, according to court papers.
Two Virginia State Police officers noted in their report that Hancock “had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from her person and bloodshot, glassy eyes.”
She told police she had two to four mixed alcoholic drinks an hour before the crash.
After police told her the nature of Dill’s injuries, Hancock responded, “well, I’m ready to go home,” according to court papers.
Hancock was also taken to the hospital but was released a short time later. Her blood alcohol tested at .194 – the legal limit is 0.08.