MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A grand jury has indicted Aubrey Pate, 23, Tuesday afternoon with manslaughter for causing the death of Mobile runner, Victor Birch, in a car crash back in September 2022. His wife, Anne Birch, says she’s glad to see an arrest made, and this is the first step towards justice for her husband.
“I want him to remember every single day that he killed a 61-year-old man,” said Anne Birch. “The man ran marathons, had done Ironman, Euro races, the ones that are like, take 14 hours to do. The man was in the peak of health, and he killed him. He does have to be accountable. He does have to understand you don’t function like that in this world.”
The indictment obtained by WKRG News 5 says that Pate was speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road while under the influence of marijuana.
“I don’t see him as some terrible murderer,” said Birch. “Like a criminal that went out and did something terrible–To shoot people constantly or stab somebody or, you know, I don’t see him as that. However, his decision-making skills are poor. And he needs to know not to repeat that.”
Birch was killed in a head-on collision in September of last year on Rangeline Road in Theodore. His death devastated the community including the local running groups he was a part of such as the Port City Pacers and Blue Bell Bombers.
One of those groups, the Blue Bell Bombers met Tuesday afternoon for their weekly run, and they were excited to hear the news.
“It’s been dragging out since September,” said Keith Evans, one of the runners. “And it’s been a long time. And we’re just glad to see some type of positive movement with the whole case.”
“He had so much passion and it didn’t matter if you were an elite runner or or a mediocre runner,” said Bradley Thompson, another runner. “He truly worked with everyone. He was always concerned about how you were doing, you know, the well-being of you.”
Previously, the evidence against Pate was presented to a grand jury, but he was not indicted.
This time around Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said, “I presented additional evidence from an expert witness,” and this ultimately led to an indictment.
He is being held on a $100,000 bond.