VIRGINIA BEACH — A former reality TV personality was sentenced Wednesday for aggravated involuntary manslaughter, DUI, failure to obey highway/traffic sign, and traveling the wrong way on a one-way roadway or highway, charges in connection with a drunken crash that killed a Coast Guardsman last year.
Melissa Ann Hancock, 26, of Virginia Beach, was handed 21 years in prison with 5 years suspended, leaving 16 years to serve.
She was also ordered to pay $3,000 in fines.
Hancock was a frequent guest on Lifetime’s “Little Women: Atlanta.”
She pleaded guilty to the charges in June.
Authorities said Hancock was driving a 2011 Cadillac west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 264 near Birdneck Road at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2017 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, according to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
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.