Crime

Lacey woman sentenced to 8.5 years for crash that killed former dentist

A Lacey woman has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for causing a crash that killed a retired dentist.

Gina R. Grocott, 32, pleaded guilty Monday in Thurston County Superior Court to one count of vehicular homicide. She was sentenced to 102 months in prison with 18 months of probation.

The fatal crash took place June 17, 2014, on College Street near 13th Avenue Southeast in Lacey. According to court documents, Grocott was driving a Dodge Dakota pickup and had been waiting at a stoplight. When the light turned green, she accelerated the vehicle to the point that the rear tires lost traction on the wet pavement, causing the truck to fishtail out of control.

Witnesses told police the truck veered into the oncoming northbound lanes of College Street and struck a van driven by 82-year-old Charles Evans, who died of a broken neck at the scene. Two passengers in Grocott’s truck were severely injured. There were no passengers in the car with Evans.

Grocott was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

At Monday’s hearing, members of Evans’ family told the court about the devastation of his sudden death. At 82, Evans led an active life, his family said. He was a graduate of the University of Washington’s Dental School and had served as a captain in the U.S. Army, including two years in the dental corps at Fort Lewis. Evans also was known for his dental practice, which he had started in Parkland in 1957.

“My father’s goal was to live past 100,” said daughter Susan Evans. “My father lived every day to the fullest.”

Grocott cried as she listened to the family’s testimony. Before the sentence was issued, she tearfully addressed the court and apologized to the family for her actions.

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