October 31, 2012 in City

Driver gets prison time in cyclist death

Bar owner was drunk when he ran over man in 2010
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Squires
(Full-size photo)

A judge sentenced Spokane Valley bar owner Scott C. Reckord to prison for 2½ years Tuesday for killing a bicyclist in a March 1, 2010, drunken-driving collision in downtown Spokane.

Reckord, 51, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, wiping tears and looking away as the family of crash victim David L. Squires spoke.

“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.”

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed a charge of leaving the scene of the fatal accident.

Reckord was driving a silver Dodge pickup north on Division Street at 6:40 p.m. that March night when he turned left to go west on Sprague Avenue and struck Squires, 56, 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, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

A “ghost bicycle,” painted white and parked at the corner of Division and Sprague for months afterward, served as a visible reminder of the accident.

Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady said the case took more than 2½ years to resolve partly because one of the Spokane police officers who investigated the case is a military reservist who 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,” Brady told Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins.

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 to 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.”

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