Sentencing today in accident that killed Wellington artist
September 25, 2012
Gardnerville resident Jon Eugene McElhaney faces sentencing today in connection with the Nov. 6 accident that resulted in the death of Smith Valley artist Reiko Hervin.
McElhaney faces up to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in August to driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquor resulting in death or substantial bodily harm. His preliminary breath test was .131, more than the legal limit of .08 for driving.
Hervin’s family is expected to attend today’s sentencing.
A plea agreement with the district attorney’s office calls for a recommended sentence of 3-8 years, but District Judge Dave Gamble is free to sentence McElhaney to the maximum. He is ineligible for probation.
McElhaney tearfully described the accident, describing his efforts to free Hervin from her vehicle. The 51-year-old died of her injuries Nov. 30 at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.
McElhaney said he was driving his pickup and towing his father’s disabled Jeep on a borrowed trailer. When he got to the top of State Route 208, he said the trailer started to roll out of control, resulting in a collision with Hervin’s vehicle in the oncoming lane.
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McElhaney said his father’s Jeep broke down and he borrowed the trailer which had been used to bring all-terrain vehicles to the site.
According to the criminal complaint, McElhaney failed to comply with Nevada law regarding loading and securing vehicles and breakaway brakes which resulted in the trailer dislodging.
McElhaney is out of custody on $15,637 bail, and under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing.
He was ordered to abstain from alcohol and controlled substances and may not drive.