Wiping tears and looking away as his victim’s family spoke, a Spokane Valley bar owner pleaded guilty today to vehicular homicide after he drove drunk and fatally struck a bicyclist in 2010.
Scott C. Reckord, 51, was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison, after he agreed to plead guilty to the March 1, 2010, crash that killed 56-year-old David L. Squires in downtown Spokane. A companion charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident was dismissed as part of the plea.
“I can’t apologize enough … for my life changing mistake,” said Reckord, longtime owner of the Sullivan Scoreboard in Spokane Valley. “I’m truly so sorry.”
Reckord was driving a silver Dodge pickup north on the one-way Division Street at 6:40 p.m. that March night when he turned left to go west on Sprague Avenue and struck Squires, who was riding a bicycle through the crosswalk.
Squires was knocked from his bicycle and then run over by Reckord’s truck, witnesses told Spokane Police.
Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich said Reckord heard something but didn’t see anything. Oreskovich said his client noticed his rearview mirror was askew so he decided to return to the scene.
But according to police records, witness Bobby Curtis and her husband, Jeffrey Curtis, followed Reckord westbound on Sprague, flashing their lights and honking their horn to try to get his attention.
Bobby Curtis “confronted the defendant when they got back to the scene and he denied realizing that he had hit anything,” according to court records.
Officers performed a field sobriety test, which Reckord failed. His blood alcohol content was .20 percent, which his more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady said the case took more than 2 ½ years to resolve partly because one of the Spokane Police officers who investigated the case had been deployed for almost a year to Afghanistan.
As for the dismissed charge, it likely would have added only another five months to the sentence, she said.
“I would point out this negotiation was worked on diligently, carefully and obviously wasn’t rushed into based on the age of the case,” she told Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins.
Squires’ friend of 40 years, Jim Richards, looked directly at Reckord as he spoke at the sentencing.
“He was a friend to hundreds of people,” Richards said. “Mr. Reckord, the least you could have done is stop to help David after you ran him over. What I’ve always learned is that if you run from your responsibilities you are a coward.”
Friends and family of Squires filled half the courtroom during the tear-filled hearing. Reckord also cried as he listened to the family express their pain.
The victim’s son, Matthew Squires, of Portland, read a letter he wrote his dead father.
“Hi, dad. Throughout everything that has happened in our lives, I always considered you an amazing father,” he said. “Now that you are gone, there is no one to fill your shoes.”
Squires and his wife, Kim Olson, described the last family gathering in 2009, which was their wedding. Their wedding anniversary now serves as a painful reminder of their loss. The couple hopes to have children, Olson said.
“Our children will never have the pleasure of meeting Grandpa Dave,” she said. “Hopefully in the future I can think of Dave without thinking of the gruesome way he left this earth.”
The victim’s younger brother, Gregory Squires, also spoke of the pain that Reckord caused his own family.
“I realize our family was not the only one hurt that day,” Squires said. “I say these things for my brother who I love and miss.”