At 6:17 p.m. Feb. 5, 2010, Routt County resident Nancy Graves was driving west on U.S. Highway 40 to attend the send-off for our U.S. Olympic Nordic ski team when she struck Steamboat Springs resident William “Rick” Hagberg at the intersection of Walton Creek Road. According to witnesses and later confirmed by police, Graves was driving within the posted speed limit and had the green light.
The following points were presented to the sentencing judge in court on Sept. 8, 2010:
Hagberg was attempting to run across U.S. 40 against a “no walk” signal. Hagberg had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .288 percent and tested positive for THC and Benzodiazsepines that evening per hospital records obtained by police. Graves had a BAC of .104 percent.
Forensic reports and analysis of this collision revealed that Graves had approximately 1 to 1.2 seconds to avoid the impact due to darkness, Hagberg’s dark clothing and his rapid emergence from an unlit area. The forensic investigator’s opinion was that no one could have avoided striking Hagberg given the circumstances.
After court considerations in the case, Graves subsequently pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of DWAI and no contest to a deferred judgment and sentence for vehicular assault.
My message here is intended to warn anyone who drives with alcohol in their system more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent that they’re in for big trouble, if arrested, no matter what the other circumstances might be. Nancy Graves is serving a 60-day sentence in the Routt County Jail in addition to significant fines and settlement fees. Because of this tragedy, the lives of both individuals have been altered forever.