Port Angeles court sets restitution in drunken-driving death
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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Steven W. Boyd, 49, of Port Angeles had pleaded guilty in June to alcohol-related vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault in the August 2011 crash.
The Thursday ruling by Clallam County Superior Court Judge Ken Williams in the 16-month-old case leaves Boyd awaiting a reportedly pending filing of a wrongful-death civil claim in a Canadian court.
“In our civil claim, we anticipate making claim for significant losses incurred by our clients, including funeral and testamentary expenses, the present value of Darrell Campbell's lost lifetime earnings and contributions to his dependents, and property damage,” attorney Greg Samuels of Cross Border Law LLP of Vancouver, B.C., said in a Clallam County Superior Court filing.
Janice Campbell, the widow of Ahousaht First Nation member Darrell Campbell, had sought $55,135 to cover expenses related to her husband's death.
They included the cost of traveling to Boyd's court hearings at the courthouse in Port Angeles and for Campbell's lost income and wages.
They also included $26,045 in expenses related to Darrell Campbell's pickup truck.
Campbell was driving the vehicle when it was hit in the 8 a.m. crash on state Highway 112.
He was killed and his 18-year-old niece and 57-year-old brother seriously injured when Boyd crossed the centerline in his SUV 5 miles west of Port Angeles.
County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg had said his legal research supported payment of $6,412 but not a higher amount.
Pat John of Port Angeles, an Ahousaht First Nation member representing the family, thanked Williams during a brief statement in court.
“Mr. Boyd has been sentenced, and the family has closure from this accident,” he said.
Boyd participated from prison by telephone.
“My only concern is that I am currently incarcerated and have no means of making any payments at all,” he said.
Boyd had a 0.12 percent blood-alcohol level from a blood sample taken 95 minutes after the 8 a.m. crash and a 0.079 percent level about two hours after the crash, according to the State Patrol.
The legal limit in Washington is 0.08 percent.
Objects to expenses
Alex Stalker of Clallam Public Defender, representing Boyd, objected to funeral expenses approved by Williams, which included $1,000 in flower expenses, $600 in funeral pamphlets and $150 for photos.
That was “making the funeral into a social occasion,” Stalker said.
“Boyd will be unemployed,” he added.
“Given his financial circumstances, I don't think it's appropriate to impose extra fees.”
Responded Troberg: “Funerals are social occasions.”
He said he was not seeking medical expenses incurred by Campbell's brother, Angus Campbell, and niece, Sophie Campbell, estimating they “must have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
In a later telephone interview, John confirmed Troberg's estimate.
Angus Campbell suffered a broken femur, and Sophie Campbell had her spleen removed immediately after the accident, John said.
Troberg said they were hospitalized and treated for weeks.
Restitution for their medical care may be addressed by the state Attorney General's Office, Troberg said.
In her request for restitution, Janice Campbell said the family was having trouble paying bills because of expenses incurred after her husband's death.
“Darrell Campbell was very intelligent and enjoyed working for Ahousaht fisheries,” she said.
“He is greatly going to be missed.”
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: December 20. 2012 5:51PM