Two women are going to prison for a September 2010 crash that took the life of a prominent Relic Entertainment developer, injured his pregnant wife and killed two passengers in the woman's Chevy Blazer. The two women were found guilty of three counts of vehicular homicide each, with the driver Jordyn Weichert sentenced to eight years in prison and the passenger Samantha Bowling receiving a five year sentence. Wood was the lead developer on Company of Heroes Online.
The accident happened on Highway 20 near North Whidbey, Washington on September 3, 2010. According to police reports, Weichert tried to remove her sweater while driving her Chevy Blazer, and asked the passenger, Bowling, to steer. This lead to the confusion that caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which veered to the left and into oncoming traffic.
The Blazer went straight for the station wagon driven by Brian Wood of Vancouver, B.C. Wood had the presence of mind to swerve the vehicle enough so that his pregnant wife was spared most of the impact, but was killed instantly. Two passengers in the Blazer were also killed. Wood's wife, Erin Wood, also sustained some injuries. Police also found drugs and a handgun at the scene, near the defendant's Blazer.
Both women pled guilty to three counts each of vehicular manslaughter. During the sentencing hearing both expressed deep regret at the tragedy that killed three people and left a pregnant woman injured. The atmosphere of the sentencing hearing was emotional for all involved including the judge. Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock said that this was a tragedy for all involved and hoped that the young women would give back to the community after they serve their sentence to atone for what they had done.
Since the crash, Mrs. Woods gave birth to their daughter, Sierra Grace, and is doing everything she can to keep Brian's memory alive - but it is not easy. She expressed the sorrow and loss she felt at the sentencing hearing, along with her father-in-law:
"The first thought I have when I wake up in the morning is that he is gone and the last thought before I fall asleep at night is the same," she said.
"Brian was hoping for a daughter and he never knew he had one," Wood's father, Ed Wood said of his son.
It's a sad, senseless tragedy that was caused because the driver was distracted and foolish. The lesson here is that distracted drivers are dangerous to everyone on the road.