Posted by: project151 | May 15, 2008

Ruckersville man pleads in VA 151 accident that killed three in 2007

635 & 151 sx 2007

635 & 151 ax
Photography Courtesy of Nelson County Life Magazine Web Edition
The accident scene where Laura Cavedo and her two daughters, Elschen and Iliana were killed on August 30, 2007.

Original coverage and follow up:

Story from The Nelson County Times, Virginia.

By Erin McGrath
Published: May 15, 2008

A Ruckersville man who fell asleep at the wheel has pleaded guilty to reckless driving and has been sentenced to serve three months in jail for a car accident that killed a mother and her two daughters along Virginia 151 last August.

Shawn Andrew Lloyd, 27, entered the pleas on May 7 in Nelson County Circuit Court. He received a 12-month sentence, with nine months suspended, was fined $1,000, and must pay court costs.

“There is nothing I really can say but I am sorry for what happened,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said he fell asleep while driving a box truck on his way to a job on Aug. 30 along Virginia 151.

Laura Cavedo and her daughters, Elschen and Iliana Strickler, were waiting to make a left-hand turn off of Virginia 151 near Afton when Lloyd’s vehicle struck theirs, sending them into oncoming traffic.

Cavedo was flown to UVA Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her daughters were pronounced dead at the scene.

Lloyd’s attorney, Scott Goodman, said the investigation into the accident by law enforcement was very thourough.

He said Lloyd’s speed when the accident occurred was under the speed limit, no drugs or alcohol were involved and a later examination of Lloyd’s vehicle found “numerous problems” with the brakes.

“He awakened in time, but not in control of the vehicle,” Goodman said. “It’s just a horrible thing.”

Commonwealth attorney Phil Payne said this was a difficult case for him to categorize properly because three people were killed. He said he had thought about the case for months.

“There’s no way to adequately punish,” Payne said. “I don’t have a magic wand and I don’t know what would be appropriate.”

Lloyd will begin his jail time on May 16.



  1. Three months for three lives? That isn’t justice!

    On a more positive note, yesterday on my way to and from work, I saw three state police cars up and down the Nelson stretch of 151 and one of them was a pull over.

    THANK YOU AND PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK because the speeders are still out there – especially now that the weather is nice – and so are the risk-taking “passers”.

    Hoping everyone stays safe out there … Janet

  2. There’s that “S” word again….IT’S THE SPEEDERS!

    Out of place comment here, this accident was not caused by speed.

    This accident was caused by impaired driving. Driving tired is impaired driving. Other examples of impaired driving are alcohol, drugs, emotional distress, cell phones, etc.

    And too much aim has been taken at large trucks. (I mean trucks over 26,001 lbs). The truck in this wreck was basically a large car. No CDL license necessary. To drive a large truck requres a CDL which means hours-of-service laws, drug testing, and other provisions to prevent impaired driving, such as a lower .04 blood alcohol level and no alcohol consumption withing 4 hours before driving.

  3. It wasn’t an “out of place comment”, James, it was a “side comment” to my previous statement.
    I read the article – I know what caused the accident.

    But there are a lot a of things that cause accidents and whether it is “impaired driving” as you put it, speeding, faulty equipment (in this case bad brakes) it is every driver’s responsibiliy to make sure that they and their vehicle are in good condition when they get on the road.

    And we just have to be especially mindful on a one lane country road that wasn’t constructed for high traffic (and big truck) volume, nor with precaution features such as wide shoulders and turn-off lanes in mind.


  4. Who did Mr. Lloyd work for? How many hours had he been working in a row? How much non driving time had he had before the accident?

    If CDL drivers have to keep log books of their driving hours and off time, why don’t all drivers who get paid for it, have to?

    It’s as much the employers and Governments responsibility as it is a 27 yo worker.

    The real criminals are in the nations and states capitals! The law makers and their owners the corporations.

    Citizens when will you have had enough?

  5. […] The man driving the truck, Shawn Andrew Lloyd, later plead guilty to reckless driving and served 90 … […]

  6. […] The triple fatality, three of five that year on 151, prompted residents to have something done about the rural and winding two lane highway that sees numerous accidents weekly, many fatal in the past . Speed limits were reduced to 45 MPH on a large section of the highway. The move appears to have greatly reduced fatalities on the highway. Local Board Of Supervisors and VDOT reacted to public pressure that something be done to the intersection after Laura Cavedo was shoved head on into an oncoming van while waiting to turn left on to Greenfield Road. There was no left hand turn lane at the intersection. A Ruckersville man was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail in connection with rear end collision… […]

  7. Very sad story, I remember like it was yesterday.
    I lived in Nelson County at the time and I worked at the company of the Mr. Lloyd.
    Sad to say he was going to do a job for me.
    I went to the accident and got there not long after the police got there.
    All I could keep thinking about is how my three kids went to school right down the street.
    That could have been my kids and my wife at that time.
    All I could say to him is do you understand what you have done.
    He has to live with that mistake for the rest of his life.
    That is a hell of a burden to live with.
    I can’t say I could have.
    Three people lost lives and a husband lost his whole family.
    I will so say I am so sorry about that.
    That company is no longer around.
    The brakes on the truck wouldn’t have mattered he woke up after he hit them.
    Sean had never been in a accident before
    He worked about 40 hours a week.
    He was a clean cut guy who got to ahead of self.
    Trying to work to jobs and not resting enough.
    God bless

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