- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - An Arizona woman was sentenced to 55 days in jail for causing a crash that killed one man and injured two others in North Dakota.

Lacey Eckert, 27, was charged with negligent homicide and two counts of aggravated reckless driving for the 2015 crash in McKenzie County, The Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/2i0gNDh ) reported. She pleaded guilty to the charges Wednesday.

“These cases are the worst because there’s no sentence that’s going to solve what happened,” Northwest District Judge Robin Schmidt said. “It’s difficult to know what is right or fair or just. there’s no amount of time that can make this right.”

McKenzie County acting State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz recommended, as part of plea deal, a sentence of five years, with four years and 275 days suspended, leaving 90 days to serve. Eckert received credit for the 35 days she spent in jail after her arrest, which brought the total sentence to 55 days.

“Coming to this recommendation has involved a great deal of research,” Schwarz said.

Eckert will also serve three years supervised probation after her release.

“If this is the aberrant act that it looks like it was, then this is the appropriate sentence,” Schwarz said. “If this probation is not stringently followed, I would not hesitate to ask for the maximum time.”

Prosecutors said Eckert ran a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 73 and Highway 22 early in the morning of Dec. 1, 2015, and crashed into an SUV.

The driver, Phillip Taggart was killed. His passenger, Ryan Jerke, was injured.

Craig Bruyere, who was driving a semitrailer, was also injured after slamming into the collision moments later.


Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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