Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Michael H. Stanfield & Virginia Jacks

Michael H. Stanfield of Florence and Virginia Foxworth Jacks never met, yet their lives became intertwined in a way neither could have imagined on the night of September 18th last year. Auburn police say Standfield, whose age has been listed as either 42 or 47, caused the accident that claimed the life of Jacks, 17. Both were reportedly in the city for the Auburn-Clemson game. From a Lee County news report:

Auburn police are trying to track down the driver who caused a Saturday wreck on Shug Jordan Parkway that killed 17-year-old Virginia Foxworth Jacks of Montgomery. The male driver came up the ramp to the parkway, turned left into oncoming traffic, forcing the car Jacks was riding in to swerve, spin out of control and be T-boned by another vehicle, police said. Auburn's police chief said on Tuesday (9/21) that investigators were tracking down the driver in another Alabama city where he lives.

Stanfield maintains that he was unaware of any accident and that his passengers will testify to that fact. After being indicted by a Lee County grand jury, Stanfield turned himself in and remains in Lee County Jail with bond set at 35K. The indictments charge the Florence man with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident without giving aid, and improper turn. It's likely these charges will be reduced if Standfield should decide to accept a plea.

Should Michael H. Stanfield have been indicted? He was driving in what was probably an unfamiliar area. Witnesses state he had been attempting to make the left turn for some time; however, they also state that the vehicle in which Jacks was a passenger was not speeding. We cannot recall a case in which a driver was charged for such a crime while not involved in the physical accident itself. It will be interesting to follow this case to its conclusion.


Virginia Jacks was obviously a vibrant and caring young woman. Her death is a loss not only to her family, but the entire Montgomery community.

Several sites have been inaugurated to commemorate her life and death. Here are two of them:

In Memory of Virgina Jacks

Virginia Jacks, 1993-2010