A well-known journalist and writer was arrested in Virginia on DUI charges following his involvement in a car crash. Tragically, a 75-year-old Virginia man lost his life in the incident. The 55-year-old author, Donovan James Webster, could also be in danger of facing more charges -- such as DUI manslaughter -- upon the completion of police investigations into the crash. Police allege that the accident involved two motor vehicles and a semi truck. They say that the author was driving one of the cars and they suspect he may have been at fault for causing the crash due to his allegedly intoxicated state. However, further details regarding how the accident occurred have yet to be released.

Author Famous for Award-Winning Book of Essays

Donovan James Webster won the Gelber Prize in 1997 for his collection of essays called "Aftermath: The Remnants of War." He is also acclaimed for writing several other well-received books, such as "Meeting the Family: One Man's Journey Through His Human Ancestry."

The author's family responded to media inquiries and confirmed that he was the same individual who was charged in the incident. However, they did not provide any further comment. Court records indicate that his first hearing has been scheduled for October. As for the 75-year-old man who lost his life in this crash, his family did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press.

Webster May Face Civil Claims as Well

If the award-winning author is ultimately charged with DUI manslaughter, in addition to normal DUI, he could face stiff punishment -- including years behind bars -- if convicted of the crimes. Such a conviction would also serve to support the deceased man's family members if they choose to pursue a wrongful death claim in civil court regarding the loss of their loved one. The decision to pursue a wrongful death claim can be an emotional one, but in some cases it can also be a financial one. The cost of funeral and memorial services can be high and some families may not be able to afford such expenses on their own. In addition, proceeds obtained through a successfully navigated wrongful death case could help support families after losing a loved one's former contribution to family income.