May 24, 2020

Man convicted in fatal County crash arrested in S.C. on related charges

BANGOR – A South Carolina truck driver who served more than a year in prison in Maine for a fatal accident was arrested earlier this month in his home state for federal crimes allegedly related to the 2002 crash that killed a Canadian man.

Virgil Lee Woods, 64, of Hampton, S.C., was released on $10,000 unsecured bond on June 9 after appearing in U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C.

Woods was indicted in January 2004 by a federal grand jury in Bangor on two counts of making false statements to the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and two counts of violating interstate trucking regulations.

An arraignment date has not been set.

If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on the first two counts and up to a year in prison on the other counts. He also faces fines of up to $250,000 on each of the four counts.

The case could be moved from Maine to South Carolina, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A federal subpoena was issued to Woods in 2004, but he was not tracked down until this month, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. It could not be determined Wednesday whether Woods was aware he had been indicted on the charges prior to his arrest.

Woods was sentenced in September 2002 in Aroostook County Superior Court to four years in prison with all but 18 months suspended for leaving the scene of an accident and operating without a license. He pleaded no contest to the charges in connection with the crash.

Robert Nelson Jr., 43, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was killed on Jan. 29, 2002, when the tractor-trailer Woods was driving collided with the Canadian man’s 1999 Honda.

Woods did not stop at the accident scene on the Aroostook River Bridge, near the Aroostook Centre Mall on Route 1 in Presque Isle.

Police stopped his truck about four miles south of the accident scene after witnesses provided Maine State Police with a description of the truck.

Correction: A shorter version of this article appeared in the Coastal and Final editions.

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