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He had the book, ‘Making Great Decisions’ in his car when he drove drunk and severely injured two women

Carl Hylton (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)
Carl Hylton (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

VIRGINIA BEACH — On Sept. 10, 2017, Carl Jordan Hylton made the decision to get behind the wheel of his car and drive — drunk.

He crashed head-on with an SUV carrying four women, injuring two, one severely.

On Tuesday, the 38-year-old Norfolk man learned his fate — 11 years, with 4 years suspended, leaving 7 years to serve in prison.

Hylton pleaded guilty on April 24 to two counts of DUI – victim permanently Impaired and DUI, according to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

The night last year

Four women were on their way home on Sept. 10, 2017 after a night of celebrating a birthday.

They were in an SUV traveling west on Greenwich Road. Hylton was driving east.

Prosecutors said Hylton entered the first curve in the roadway, crossed over the solid double yellow lines, and struck the SUV head-on.

A backseat passenger was unconscious and the “Jaws of Life” had to be used to cut her out of the SUV.  Another backseat passenger suffered a broken hip and fractured cheek bone.  The front seat passenger had the dashboard shoved onto her legs but was not significantly injured. The driver was injured from the airbags and also had to be cut from the vehicle using the “Jaws of Life.”

When police and rescue arrived at the scene, Hylton was in the front seat of his car not wearing a seatbelt.

He had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and an open container of beer in the center console, prosecutors said.

Hylton was taken to the hospital for injuries to his arm and foot.  He told police that he had “a little bit of alcohol,” felt “a little bit intoxicated,” and was coming from the beach.

Hospital records show that his blood/alcohol level was .12, prosecutors said.

Police found inside Hylton’s car “an open 12 oz. Bud Light bottle, an open 24 oz. Icehouse Edge beer can, and another open 24 oz. Icehouse Edge beer can in the center console.”

Behind the driver’s seat officers found an open bottle of Hennessy cognac.

Three library books were also found, one of which was entitled “Making Great Decisions.”

Hylton has prior convictions for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, petty larceny, reckless driving, nine counts of driving on a revoked license, and two counts of driving without a license.

The aftermath

The backseat passenger who was unconscious after the crash was taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and remained in a coma for 11 days.

She suffered a closed head injury, severe traumatic brain injury, and diffuse axonal injury, prosecutors said.

After waking from the coma, she was admitted to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, for rehabilitation.  The woman remained in the Shepherd Center from Sept. 27, 2017 to Nov. 8, 2017.

She has lived with her parents since her discharge from the rehabilitation center and continues to require 24-hour care, prosecutors said.

The backseat passenger who suffered a broken hip underwent surgery and has a metal rod inserted into her hip.  She was in the hospital for five days, used a walker for six weeks, and has permanent scarring.

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