Acclaimed author charged in fatal crash
RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — An acclaimed journalist and author was in jail without bond Monday on charges of driving under the influence stemming from a crash that killed a 75-year-old man.
Donovan James Webster, 55, of Charlottesville, Virginia, could face additional charges after an investigation into the Thursday crash, according to the Albemarle County Police Department. Authorities said the wreck killed Wayne Thomas White of Waynesboro, and it involved two vehicles and a tractor trailer. Webster was driving one of the vehicles, but police declined to provide further details on the wreck, just outside Charlottesville, which is 115 miles south Washington.
Webster is a former senior editor for Outside magazine and has written for The New Yorker, National Geographic and other magazines.
He also has written several books, including “Meeting the Family: One Man’s Journey Through His Human Ancestry,” ″The Burma Road: The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II” and “Aftermath: The Remnants of War,” a collection of essays on the effects of war plaguing civilians long after the conflicts. In 1997, the book won the Gelber Prize, one of biggest prizes in the world for books on international issues. He traveled to France, Russia, Vietnam, Kuwait, and a weapons testing site in Nevada to gather information for his book.
His travels for various projects were the subject of two documentaries: “Running the Sahara,” released in 2007 and narrated by actor Matt Damon, and “Amazon Gold,” released in 2012 and narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock.
Webster’s family confirmed to The Daily Progress newspaper that the author is the same man charged in the crash but declined to comment any further. According to court records, a hearing is scheduled for October.
Phone messages left for his family by The Associated Press on Monday were not immediately returned. A phone number listed for White was disconnected.
According to an obituary, White “had a lifelong love of farming” and had more than 20 years of service with Friendly Tire Service in Waynesboro. He left behind 10 children, 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.