Friends and family are mourning a woman killed in a crash with a suspected drunken driver allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road.
Lataja Wilkins of Triangle is remembered as a great mother of an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. She is described as a dedicated recreation manager at Apollo Gymnastics in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Wilkins was driving with her two young children in the backseat when a drunken driver hit her car head-on Thursday in Woodbridge, police said. Wilkins, 32, was killed in the crash. Her children were injured.
Ronal Eriberto Guillen, of Woodbridge, was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI manslaughter.
Wilkins was driving a Toyota Camry north on Springwoods Drive when a Ford Explorer headed the wrong way crashed into her car. Police responded at about 6:10 a.m.
Wilkins and her children were taken to a hospital. The mother died of her injuries. Her children were hurt but are expected to recover.
The children were properly restrained but Wilkins was not wearing a seat belt, police said.
“It’s devastating,” said Melina Dorsey, an Apollo Gymnastics parent. “I’ve known Lataja for so long. I know her babies I just...”
A memorial for Wilkins has formed with flowers, teddy bears, balloons and electric candles.
“I’m devastated,” Demetra Milladge said. “Devastated. It’s a senseless killing.”
A coworker started a GoFundMe page to help Wilkins’ children.
“She was a light, to anybody and everybody's kid,” Dorsey said.
Guillen, the driver of the Explorer, was not hurt and was determined to have been drinking, police said.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police.
Guillen, 26, was held without bond. He’s due in court in Jan. 19.
Editor's Note (Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m.): Police initially released a misspelling of Wilkins' name. This post has been updated with the correct spelling.