Motorist gets 15-month sentence for vehicular homicide that killed veteran in wheelchair
The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. September 13, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — A Vancouver motorist who struck and killed an Army veteran in a wheelchair in March 2020 was sentenced Monday to 15 months in prison.
Adam Clark Urban, 67, pleaded guilty in July in Clark County Superior Court to vehicular homicide-disregard for the safety of others. He faced a standard sentencing range of 15 to 20 months in prison. He will also serve 12 months of community custody.
Urban was originally charged with the more serious prong of vehicular homicide-operating a vehicle while under the influence. Court records said toxicology testing found Urban’s blood tested positive for alcohol, marijuana, oxycodone and depressants.
Shortly before 10 p.m. March 15, 2020, Vancouver police were dispatched to a serious injury crash at the intersection of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and Fort Vancouver Way. Urban called 911 and said he had struck a pedestrian, identified as Donald Robinson. A witness attempted to render aid to Robinson, but he was unconscious and unresponsive, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Robinson was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he underwent surgery for his injuries. He died the next day, the affidavit says.
In a statement filed with the court, Robinson’s foster sister said he was a U.S. Army veteran who had received his wheelchair through Veterans Affairs just before he was struck in the crosswalk while using it.
“I believe, and our family concurs that Mr. Urban had a distinct driver’s duty to watch more carefully for pedestrians in a crosswalk,” she said in the statement. She added she believes he should have also been tested for drug or alcohol use at the scene.
According to court records, Urban told police he was driving east on Fourth Plain when Robinson entered his path, and he was unable to avoid hitting the man. A witness said Robinson was crossing west in a crosswalk, from north to south, and was unable to make it across the intersection before the eastbound signals turned green.
Urban’s defense attorney, John Terry, described the crash as an accident that could have been avoided.
“I wish this never happened. I feel as bad as anybody in this courtroom,” Urban said at sentencing. “I apologize. There’s nothing else I can do.”
(c)2023 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)
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