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More charges contemplated in fatal Vernon Hill crash

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Melissa D. Rhodes, in a photo taken at the Botetourt County Jail; below, Julian Adam Suttle, in died Wednesday after the Aug. 20 crash.
SoVaNow.com / August 26, 2016
As the investigation continues into the Aug. 20 traffic crash that claimed the life of 9-year-old Julian Adam Suttle, Virginia State Police and the Halifax County Commonwealth's Attorney are currently considering additional charges for the driver of the vehicle, 28-year-old Melissa D. Rhodes.

As of Friday, Rhodes, of Vernon Hill, faces a charge of DUI and one felony count of child neglect in connection with the accident, which took place Saturday afternoon at 3:39 p.m. on State Route 360 near Thompson Store Road. State Police say Rhodes was the operator of a 2006 Dodge Caravan that was traveling west on Route 360 when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road and struck a stop sign. Suttle, who was not wearing a seat belt, was transported for treatment of his injuries by air to Duke Medical Center in Durham, N.C., where he died on Wednesday.

Rhodes is currently being held without bond at the Botetourt County Jail. Upon her arrest for DUI in relation to the Halifax County crash, she was transported to Botetourt County to be held on a capias for her arrest related to previous, unrelated charges.

Also Friday, funeral services for Julian Suttle, son of Chad Suttle and Jennifer Hicks Suttle, were announced for 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at Antioch Baptist Church in Timberlake, N.C.

He was born on October 10, 2006 in Halifax County. Julian was a rising 4th grader at South Elementary School where he was getting ready to skip and go to the 5th grade. His best friends were his dog, Murphy and his cat, Orange. Julian was on the honor roll, had perfect attendance, and received the President's Education Award and the Magic Math Award for highest EOG score. He loved to play video games, legos, and transformers. Julian also had an unending love for knowledge of the US Military and learning about tanks and war planes. His favorite foods were pop-tarts, and bacon. He attended Antioch Baptist Church.

Surviving in addition to his parents are maternal grandparents, Maxine and Brian Lutz, paternal grandparents, Matt and JoAnn Suttle and Patricia Suttle and Robert Martin, maternal great-grandparents, Ann Dobies, Ken Lutz, and Marilynn Oeltjendiers; paternal great-grandparent, George Howser; two brothers, Casey Suttle and Zachary Suttle, of the home; one sister, Carrie Suttle, of the home; aunts and uncles, Michael Hicks, Dawn Lutz, Tracie Lutz, Shelly and Lee King, Steve and Connie Miklai, and Wesley Howser; a host of cousins and friends also survive.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday by Rev. Eric Miller, Rev, Glen Newsom, Jr. and Chaplin Will Cochrane. Interment will follow in Burchwood Cemetery. Visitation will be held 6:30-8:00 p.m. Monday, August 29 at Antioch Baptist Church and other times at the home of Brian and Maxine Lutz, 65 Landmark North, Roxboro, N.C.

Pallbearers will be Lee King, Colton King, Michael Hicks, Brian Lutz, Keith Johnson, and Stanley Britton. Honorary pallbearers will be Casey Suttle, Zachary Suttle and Connor Austin.

Memorials may be made to the Family c/o Brooks & White, P. O. Box 1135, Roxboro, NC 27573.

Also, to help the Suttle family pay medical bills from Julian's care, a GoFundMe campaign has been created with a goal of $10,000. To contribute, click on the link to the crowd-sourcing fundraising site.

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