He flew through a red light at Martin Luther King and Cora. Then he did it again, a block later. It was only when Rickey Wood careened through a third red light that he hit a car with two people inside.
D.L., the driver, was critically injured, suffering damage to her brain, spleen, lung, kidneys, liver, spine, pelvis, legs and other parts of her body. The passenger in her car, D.P., died as a result of his injuries.
Rickey Wood tried to run from his car, but was quickly caught by a nearby police sergeant who’d observed the erratic driving and the crash.
Police also recovered a gun from the scene of the accident. At the hospital, Wood’s blood was taken. It registered .251%, more than three times the legal limit, even hours after the accident.
The airbag control module indicated Wood was driving approximately 88 miles per hour just seconds before the crash.
“My sister faces extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation,” D.L’s sister wrote in a statement to the court. “This did not have to happen. Too many people are fearful to drive at night for fear of this very thing happening. This offender, and others like him, own the night.”
Wood was no stranger to the law. He had three previous felony drug convictions and other municipal convictions for driving while intoxicated or under the influence in Missouri and Illinois.
“The defendant has repeatedly shown a callous disregard for the law and for traffic safety,” wrote Assistant Circuit Attorney Jennifer Szczucinski.
Wood pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, armed criminal action, second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and careless and imprudent driving, among other charges.
ACA Szczucinski recommended that Wood serve 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
A judge has sentenced him to serve seven years.