WINCHESTER – The driver in a March 24 head-on crash on Papermill Road in Frederick County that killed another driver and his father-in-law has been charged with reckless driving and driving without a license.

Anthony Dewayne Morris, 36, of Winchester, also is suspected of driving drunk, and more serious charges may be pending, according to state police spokeswoman Corrine Geller.

Morris was eastbound in a Ford F-150 pickup truck, about 100 yards east of 3318 Papermill Road when he veered left into the westbound lane and struck a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Stephens City resident Michael Mercer, police previously reported.

Mercer, 59, a retired Northrop Grumman executive, was killed along with front-seat passenger Jimmy Kilbourne, who was his father-in-law.

Kilbourne, 83, was an Air Force veteran and decorated Vietnam War hero who flew 160 combat missions, according to his obituary in Air Force Times. He later served two terms on the Winchester Regional Airport Authority.

Back-seat passengers Victoria Mercer, Michael Mercer’s 59-year-old wife, and James “Trey” Mercer, their 17-year-old son, were seriously injured in the crash.

A beer bottle was found by Morris’ pickup, and he admitted to having “three or four” drinks before the crash, a search warrant affidavit written by Trooper Anthony W. Backus stated. The affidavit was for a blood sample from Morris to determine his blood alcohol content.

“Mr. Morris did not slow down after veering to the left,” Backus wrote. “His driving behavior is indicative of being intoxicated.”

Morris’ driving record includes convictions for driving 74 mph in a 55 mph zone in 2014 and for driving without wearing a seatbelt in December.

He is free on a $30,000 bond and scheduled to appear in Frederick County General District Court at 9 a.m. on May 21.

Geller stated in a Wednesday email that her agency is consulting with the Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office about additional charges against Morris.

According to the search warrant affidavit, authorities are considering filing driving under the influence and manslaughter charges.
Ross Spicer, Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney, has the option of filing additional charges, declining to prosecute or recommending to a grand jury that Morris be prosecuted.
Spicer said Tuesday that he understands there is intense interest in the crash, but he doesn’t comment on ongoing cases.
Louann Dorrough, a friend of the Mercer and Kilbourne families, said Trey Mercer was released from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville on Tuesday. As a result of the crash, she said his back was broken in three places, and his collarbone was broken
“It’s just been an astounding recovery,” Dorrough said. “I just thank God for the trauma surgeons.”
Dorrough said Victoria Mercer is in a rehabilitation center. Her injuries include a broken left leg and left hip, a broken left hand and seven broken ribs.
Dorrough said friends, family and community members have provided emotional support to the Mercers.
“It’s just been incredible,’ she said. “I’m touched by the number of people who have stepped forward to help them.”