FAIRFIELD — A former Travis airman was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for a 2011 drunken driving accident that killed a Fairfield father of five.
Tyler Scott received the sentence from Judge Harry Kinnicutt in Solano County Superior Court in connection with the death of 60-year-old George E. Smith. A request for probation by Scott’s attorney, Daniel Russo, was denied before the sentencing.
Scott, who was 22 at the time of the accident, was also convicted for driving under the influence. The sentences for the two crimes are concurrent, meaning Scott will be credited with 900 days served.
A plea deal was accepted in October in which a murder charge was dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury. Scott could have faced a life sentence if convicted of murder.
A throng of Smith’s family and supporters wore buttons with the picture of the grandfather of 12. Many tried to contain their emotions while the hearing took place. Smith’s wife and two of his daughters talked to Kinnicutt before the sentencing.
They recalled tales of how Smith never swore and described his playful activities with children and grandchildren. Aimee Desrosiers traveled from Antioch to speak about her father.
Desrosiers said Smith was a father figure to many of her six children. She said her children still talk about the accident since their grandfather’s death. Desrosiers spoke about one incident while dropping off her 4-year-old son.
“He said, ‘Mommy, don’t let anyone hurt you. Mommy, stay safe. Mommy, don’t die,’ ” she said. “I comfort them as much as I can. I deal with six children every day who remember it vividly.”
Smith’s wife, Margaret Smith, clutched a photo of her husband as she spoke. She mentioned a meeting with Scott and how the two talked about things. Margaret Smith said she doesn’t hate Scott and hopes he understands the severity of what he did to the family.
Another one of Smith’s daughters, Kendra Smith, spoke about how the accident happened three weeks prior to her high school graduation. On that graduation day, she said, her dad wasn’t in the stands and instead she had to go to the makeshift memorial near the crash site to share the moment.
“Because it happened so close to the high school, people who didn’t even know me came up and said they are sorry,” Kendra Smith said. “Every time we go to the store, we pass by that fence.”
George Smith was on his way home from work, driving on Cement Hill Road a few blocks from home, at the time of the accident.
Scott, who had been drinking heavily for hours at a party while Smith was working, was driving home from the party on Cement Hill Road in his pickup truck. He was rushing to see the midnight movie debut of “The Hangover: Part II.”
On the first day of the jury trial, the prosecutor said Scott had his foot floored on the accelerator when he lost control of his truck while driving at more than 75 mph. The vehicle careened into the oncoming traffic lane, crashing into Smith’s car, demolishing it in a second or two and killing Smith.
Scott suffered a superficial injury to one of his arms in the crash.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.