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Driver gets 78 months for vehicular homicide

Tue., July 29, 2014

If Priest Lake native Scott Moore were alive today, he’d be tending asparagus in his railroad-tie-bordered garden, his wife, Darcie Humphrey Moore, said Monday.

“It takes three seasons to grow asparagus, and he’d just planted that,” said Humphrey Moore. “For some reason it hasn’t come up, and I’m kind of OK with that. That would be kind of sad, too.”

Scott Moore was killed assisting a motorist on Interstate 90 near the Highway 195 interchange on Dec. 14, 2012. Robert Dyer, the motorist who struck Moore, was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison last week after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide. Investigators say he was driving drunk and with a suspended license.

Moore, a “lifelong railroader,” extended his usual level of concern for others in the moments before his death, Humphrey Moore said.

“He would have helped anybody, anytime,” she said.

Dyer, 26, was taken into custody immediately after his sentencing Thursday. A judge originally set his bond at $100,000, but it was eventually lowered and he was released pending a trial that was supposed to begin a week after he pleaded guilty July 14.

Dyer was driving from a Christmas party just after 6 p.m. when he struck a vehicle near the Thor and Freya exits on the slushy freeway, according to investigative reports. He kept driving in his 1998 Chevrolet Camaro, with the struck driver following and on the phone with Washington State Patrol dispatchers. Dyer then left the roadway and struck Moore, who was assisting another car that had slid off the interstate, troopers said.

Defense attorney Christian Phelps had asked that a blood sample taken at the scene of the crash be thrown out because investigators had not obtained a warrant nor conducted a full field sobriety test. Dyer’s blood tested at about twice the legal driving limit for intoxication, according to prosecutors.

A decision on whether the blood test results would be admissible in court was not decided by presiding Judge Salvatore Cozza. Phelps said after conferring with his client they accepted the plea deal to avoid subjecting the Moore family to a trial.

Judge Annette Plese accepted Dyer’s guilty plea to vehicular homicide and the joint recommendation of prosecutor Larry Steinmetz and Phelps that Dyer serve 78 months, the low end of the available sentencing range. Dyer must also serve more than a year of probation and avoid businesses that sell alcohol upon his release.

Humphrey Moore and several members of Scott Moore’s family attended the sentencing hearing last week and read letters urging more jail time for Dyer, she said.

“That was very disappointing,” Humphrey Moore said of Dyer’s sentence.

Humphrey Moore, who works in Coeur d’Alene, has kept the home she and her husband built in Priest Lake, though the garden has taken a hit without his hands alongside hers, she said. She said the greatest sadness comes from knowing Moore will not be around to help raise his grandkids, one of whom was born just a few weeks before he died.

“This could have been prevented,” Humphrey Moore said. “This is tragic, that this person chose to drive that night.”

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