Rippy receives two years probation for Silt accident
Harley “Dow” Rippy was sentenced to two years of probation for pleading guilty to a traffic offense more than a year after being accused of DUI and vehicular homicide.Rippy also received 60 hours of public service and there’s a 90-day period to file for restitution. Rippy must undergo an alcohol evaluation – and possible treatment – if his probation officer decides it’s necessary, said his attorney, Dan Recht.”I thought it was a reasonable sentence,” Recht said over the phone after the hearing. “The (Timothy) Curtiss family had wanted community service and the judge complied with their request and had Dow Rippy do community service. I think there is some healing for the Curtiss’ to know that their wishes were heard and that the judge is doing what they requested. And Dow, who has been devastated by this case from the very beginning, is very willing to do what the Curtisses wanted him to do.”Recht said Rippy didn’t wish to comment.Rippy previously pleaded guilty to the traffic offense of careless driving resulting in death.According to authorities, Rippy, 50 at the time, drove his 2006 Jeep Wrangler off County Road 344 about 14 miles south of Silt around 1 a.m. on Aug. 20, 2006. The Jeep went off the left side of the road, continued down an embankment and rolled onto its side. Timothy Curtiss, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.According to a Colorado State Patrol report, “several” plastic cups that smelled of alcohol were found near the Jeep. When contacted at his home, Rippy showed signs of intoxication and refused to answer questions about the accident or perform voluntary roadside maneuvers, saying his attorney had advised him not to cooperate, the CSP said.Recht said Rippy was not drinking at the family wedding or reception before the accident. Curtiss was drunk while standing in the back of the Jeep, Recht said, and he shook the roll bar, causing the accident. Rippy then walked a short distance to his nearby home, called authorities and had a glass of gin to calm his nerves from having witnessed his friend die, according to Recht.That’s the defense theory of what happened, Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch said previously, and there’s really no evidence to prove otherwise. She said a blood draw three hours after the accident showed Rippy was intoxicated, but didn’t prove he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Investigators also were unable to turn up anyone attending the wedding who said Rippy was intoxicated while he was there. Fitch also noted that the Curtiss family did not want a harsh punishment.She couldn’t be immediately reached Friday. In Rippy’s court file, there are 49 letters from family, friends and business contacts complementing Rippy’s character and asking for a lenient sentence.”The judge said that she realized that it was devastating for Dow Rippy,” Recht said. “She knows he is remorseful and that it’s been very difficult for him.”Contact Pete Fowler: email@example.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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