Case proceeds in fatal Ashburn drunk driving crash
A judge Nov. 20 ruled there's enough evidence in the case against a man accused of killing two people in a drunken car wreck to bound charges over to the county's grand jury.
Mark Sgarlata, 52, of Ashburn allegedly struck Patrick Wrenn Jr., 46, and Leia Wrenn, 44, with his BMW on Oct. 6 at around 12:50 a.m. after an evening of drinking. Sgarlata was turning left into the Ashburn's Junction Plaza shopping center when he hit the couple, who were riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They were thrown from the bike and later died at an area hospital.
Sgarlata's case will go before the Loudoun County Grand Jury Dec. 9.
According to testimony at the preliminary hearing, Sgarlata had been drinking at the nearby restaurant Clyde's in the Broadlands.
Sgarlata, a partner at a Tyson's Corner law firm, was charged with two counts of felony aggravated involuntary manslaughter and one count of driving while intoxicated.
According to witness testimonies at the preliminary hearing, Sgarlata's blood alcohol level at the scene of the crash was .223. A test given later at the jail registered a .15, still nearly twice the legal limit to drive in Virginia.
Loudoun County Sheriff's Deputy M.L. Franks, one of the responding officers, testified that Sgarlata failed field sobriety tests at the scene of the wreck. During the heel-to-toe walk, Franks said, Sgarlata walked into a police cruiser and twice fell when trying to stand on one foot before Franks aborted any extra attempts.
“The test couldn't be done,” Franks said. “There was no point in risking his safety or having him fall into traffic.”
Another testimony came from a man who pulled over upon witnessing the crash that night. Family and friends of the Wrenns swarmed him after the hearing, expressing gratitude for his help.
Prosecutors are continuing to pursue the DWI charge; however, Sgarlata will appear in court Dec. 10 to face two manslaughter charges assuming the grand jury returns an indictment.
Records show Sgarlata faced a previous DWI charge, but it was pleaded down to reckless driving.
Sgarlata remains free on a $150,000 bail. However, he is prohibited from driving or leaving the state and had to surrender his passport. Additionally, he must wear an alcohol monitoring device and a GPS tracker.