Navy petty officer who hit Va. Beach pedestrian faces DUI charge

By ELISABETH HULETTE AND MARGARET MATRAY | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: May 7, 2014

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — A 29-year-old man who police say struck and killed a pedestrian with his Jeep this weekend at the Oceanfront had a blood alcohol content of 0.25 - three times the legal limit for driving - according to court documents.

Peter Olin Teneyck, 29, a Navy petty officer, has been charged with DUI second offense and involuntary manslaughter as a result of driving drunk. He was arraigned by video Tuesday in General District Court, and he wore a blue surgical mask.

His sister, Elizabeth Teneyck, said in court that her brother is being treated for cancer and had a double-lung transplant. He was scheduled to meet with several doctors and get a lung biopsy today at Duke University, she said.

She asked Judge Gene A. Woolard to help make sure he gets his medication while in jail. Woolard said he'd appoint a public defender to help figure out how Teneyck can get treatment while incarcerated. He is being held without bond.

Police have yet to release details about Sunday's incident, which resulted in the death of 50-year-old Jim Ira Miller Jr. of Virginia Beach.

About 9:20 p.m., Teneyck was "on a beer run" when he hit Miller in the 1700 block of Pacific Ave., according to court documents. Police have not said what direction the driver was headed, whether he was speeding or whether he remained on the scene.

Miller's fiancee, Nickol Mitchell, said he was crossing the street when he was hit.

Miller died at a hospital.

Teneyck is on long-term, limited duty at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, where he is assigned while undergoing treatment. He enlisted in the Navy five years ago and has been stationed in Hampton Roads since late 2009. He deployed with Coastal Riverine Group 2 to Bahrain last year.

The Navy has not taken action against Teneyck in light of his criminal charges.

"We are tracking the case through the civilian courts, and any potential action is pending," said Deborah Kallgren, a spokeswoman for Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.

Court documents show that Teneyck has at least two prior DUI convictions, one in West Virginia in 2007 and another in New York in 2008.

Miller had been at the beach Sunday with his fiancee and a friend when he decided to go to the store. That's when he was hit, Mitchell said.

"I adored him, and he adored me," she said. "He had a beautiful soul. He would give to anybody."

Miller's father, Jim Ira Miller Sr., said his son had lived in Virginia Beach for about four years. The younger Miller worked construction and carpentry jobs and had struggled with homelessness, his father said.

Miller was close with his grandmother, and the family plans to spread his ashes over her grave in Houston. He leaves behind four sisters and a son.

Margaret Matray, 757-222-5150, margaret.matray@pilotonline.com