A 32-year-old Wyoming man who was behind the wheel in a fatal car-pedestrian accident in downtown Scottsbluff last year has been sentenced in Scotts Bluff County Court.
Tyson Rein of Cheyenne pleaded no contest in April to a charge of misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide in the death of 63-year-old Kurt Blazek of Scottsbluff last December. On Thursday morning, Rein was sentenced to a fine of $500 plus court costs.
Back on December 21, 2018, Rein was on 19th Street and was attempting to turn south onto Broadway. As he turned, he failed to see Blazek- who was walking in the crosswalk- and was struck by Rein’s vehicle. Prosecutors say at the time, Blazek’s hands were in his pockets, and following the impact he was unable to brace his fall and hit his head on the pavement.
Blazek was transported to Swedish Medical Center in Colorado in critical condition and died two days later from the injuries he sustained.
Deputy County Attorney Wesley Van Ert told Judge James Worden that the state was requesting a nominal fine rather than a jail sentence. He noted that it is important to be an attentive driver, but stressed that this was an unfortunate, unintentional accident.
Rein’s attorney Stacy Bach echoed those sentiments, and said this accident was a “perfect storm” of circumstances leading up to the fatal accident. Bach said that the traffic was busy at the time, the sun was directly in Rein’s face, Blazek was wearing dark jeans and a black hoodie, and Blazek never stopped to look before entering the crosswalk.
Once Rein hit Blazek, he immediately got out of his vehicle and attempted to render aid.
Bach added that Rein has been in counseling since the accident, is so remorseful, and that her client, “will live with this for the rest of his life.”
Scotts Bluff County Judge James Worden said that this case was a difficult case to sentence and for this crime there is a “broad spectrum of accountability.”
Worden said, “The only think I believe in circumstances with death as a result of a crime is that a fine of $100 minimizes the offense and is not appropriate.” He then upped the fine amount to $500, which Rein was able to pay immediately.