MARYSVILLE — A delivery truck driver must serve three months in jail for a deadly hit and run in Marysville, a Snohomish County judge ruled.
Randy J. Keith, 62, struck a pedestrian with a box truck in the early morning hours of July 6, 2017, on the on-ramp from Fourth Street to I-5, according to court records.
He did not stop to help.
The injured man, Scott Williams, 52, died hours later.
“Mr. Keith is truly sorry for his failure to act,” his attorney Donald Wackerman wrote in a memorandum this month. “He realized he had hit something but had no idea it was a person. As he heard the news and came to understand what he had done, he was frozen with fear. He realizes what he did was wrong.”
The meat truck — with a refrigeration unit and a bright stripe running along one side — was caught on a security camera. A police sergeant staked out the freeway exit with the hope of catching the delivery driver on his route again. He pulled over Keith’s truck on July 18, 2017.
The truck had a crack on the front driver’s side above the headlights. Keith told the sergeant the damage was old.
In a later interview with police, Keith acknowledged he made a delivery to a Taco Time off Fourth Street on the morning of the crash. But when he was told he’d struck and killed a man, he replied that he was “flabbergasted,” according to court papers. He eventually admitted he knew he’d hit something, but he didn’t realize someone was hurt.
He’d checked his mirrors but saw nothing, according to his report.
“Maybe I’m OK,” he thought.
He’d kept driving north to Arlington to finish his rounds.
That morning he heard a report on the radio about the crash. He decided not to call the police. Instead he “continued to hope he had not hit anyone,” according to court papers.
Almost two years later, prosecutors charged Keith with hit and run of a fatal crash.
In June, he entered an Alford pleaz, a kind of guilty plea where he admitted a jury could find him guilty, while maintaining his innocence. It is considered a conviction.
Keith had no criminal record. Police found no evidence of impairment or reckless driving.
Under state guidelines, a first offense of hit and run in a fatal crash carries a sentence of about 2½ to 3½ years in prison. A plea deal, reached by deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow and Wackerman, suggested what’s known as a first-time offender waiver. It called for 90 days in jail, 240 hours of community service and six months on probation.
Williams’ family asked for the maximum sentence under the law.
Williams had been found dead in a crosswalk, according to charging papers.
Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis approved the plea deal. She heard arguments on Wednesday and took a night to think about it, before delivering the sentence Thursday.
According to Keith’s attorney, the defendant has been unemployed since his arrest, but hoped to find work again once he’s released.
“He will spend the rest of his life knowing that things might have turned out differently had he just stopped to check,” Wackerman wrote. “Mr. Keith knows there is nothing he can do to restore Mr. Williams to his family.”
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.