CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A young woman’s life was cut short when she was killed in Chesterfield County by a driver who police say was driving without a license — and may have been asleep at the wheel.
According to Virginia State Police, at around 12:48 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, a Mercury Milan was stopped on the right shoulder of Interstate 95 South near the Route 288 exit in Chesterfield when it was hit by the driver of a Honda Civic who had gone off the right side of the road.
Two people were in the Mercury at the time of the crash — 23-year-old Crailynn Christie and her boyfriend, Kweli Grooms. Grooms suffered serious injuries and Christie was killed.
The driver of the Honda, 25-year-old Thomas J. Calix Lisboa, was charged with reckless driving, driving on a suspended or revoked license and driving an uninspected vehicle. Police also believe he may have been asleep when the crash took place.
Those that knew Christie described her as a young woman trying to find her way in the world.
“She was doing a lot of the things that a lot of us were doing when we were 23,” said Christie’s cousin, Britney Walker.
Walker said Christie was in Richmond for a night out with her friends on Friday, Feb. 2. She went to a concert at the National and called Grooms at the end of the night to come pick her up.
“[Grooms] was the vehicle that God used to show Crailynn unconditional love,” Walker said.
The two got on the road that night heading south on I-95 towards Petersburg.
“She wasn’t feeling well, so she told [Grooms] to pull over,” Walker said. “So, he pulls over, past the rumble strips. He did everything right, he did what he was supposed to do.”
Police said that, when Grooms pulled the car over, they were struck from behind by Calix Lisboa.
“Nobody, you know, believes that, you know, their 23-year-old sister or cousin or family member is, you know, here today and gone today,” Walker said.
Walker said their family holds no ill will against Calix Lisboa.
“He stuck around [at the scene], and that speaks to a portion of his character,” Walker said. “We would be remiss as a family if we did not acknowledge that, you know, and try our best not to feel any ill will towards that young man, because he also has a healing process that he has to endure. And that’s between him and God.”
Christie’s family was able to raise money to get her body transported to Pennsylvania, where she’s from, for her funeral service, which Walker said will take place Tuesday, Feb. 13.