VIRGINIA

Dump truck driver appears in court in Jennifer Lawson death case

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(WJLA) - A 33-year-old commercial dump truck driver from Manassas appeared in court Friday on charges he faces in connection with the traffic death of an Arlington woman.

Marvin Valladeres is charged with failure to pay full time and attention in connection with the Feb. 24 death of 39-year-old Jennifer Lawson.

Police said Valladeres was driving the truck when it hit the sliding door of Lawson's minivan. The door, in turn, struck Lawson.

Investigators said Valladeres was not using his phone, speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

The maximum penalty for the charges is a $100 fine and 10 days in jail.

"That just doesn't seem like enough; there has to be a little bit more attached to that ... because he did take a life. That's the bottom line," said Ellen Allen whose granddaughters attend Notthingham Elementary on Little Falls Drive, where the crash happened.

Lawson, a mother of three, was getting her baby out of her minivan, when the dump truck struck her.

She died later that day. 

"I believe it was an accident; I'm sure he didn't do it deliberately but the thing of it is you have to be cognizant of what you're doing when you're operating a vehicle that's that large," Allen said.

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