Repeat DUI Offender Sentenced After Plea Deal in Fatal Pedestrian Accident; Cried During Hearing

A man who has a record of driving under the influence and caused the death of a pedestrian in 2022 has been sentenced to prison.

66-year-old Darwin Dee Reisner has admitted to committing a serious offense of driving under the influence. Reisner reached a plea agreement with the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office, resulting in a guilty plea to felony aggravated driving under the influence with a persistent violator enhancement. As part of the agreement, a charge of vehicular manslaughter was dropped.

District Judge Robert Naftz listened to statements from four members of the victim’s family and heard an apology from Reisner before making his decision.

Expressing his dissatisfaction with the string of unfortunate decisions that resulted in the tragic accident, Naftz has handed down a prison term of five to 12 years to Reisner, taking into account the 552 days he has already served.

Reisner was taken into custody at the site of the accident, which took place at approximately 5:45 p.m. on December 10, 2022, close to the junction of South 5th and Jackson avenues in downtown Pocatello.

Upon arriving at the scene of the incident, authorities discovered Rachelle Wallace, aged 36, lying motionless on the road. The woman was declared deceased at the location.

According to reports, Reisner, who stayed at the scene of the accident, apparently admitted to the authorities, “I’m the one that hit it.”

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During the incident, officers conducted a breath test and discovered that the blood-alcohol content results were 0.125 and 0.128, significantly surpassing the legal limit of 0.08, as stated by prosecuting attorney Jonathan Radford.

According to witnesses, Reisner allegedly collided with Wallace, causing her to be launched into the air above his vehicle. A tragic accident occurred as she was struck by a second vehicle after landing behind the car.

According to Radford, it was the second collision that tragically claimed Wallace’s life, as revealed during Thursday’s sentencing hearing as per East Idaho News.

Radford briefly discussed an investigation that involved accident reconstruction. According to the analysis, it was found that Reisner did not apply the brakes before the crash, and there was no evidence of sudden and forceful braking afterwards.

According to Reisner and Radford, the collision with Wallace occurred at a speed exceeding 45 mph.

Wallace’s family members addressed the audience. Furthermore, Wallace’s mother read a statement from her son.

Her mother spoke first, sharing heartfelt memories of Wallace as a compassionate and affectionate individual who cherished special occasions, particularly birthdays and Christmas. According to her, Reisner’s decision had a devastating impact, making Christmas a painful reminder of her loss.

Wallace’s father discussed the possibility of receiving $5,000 in restitution. If granted, this amount would be allocated towards the construction of a crosswalk at the location where the collision occurred.

Furthermore, Naftz also imposed a prison sentence on Reisner, along with a $3,000 fine and court costs. The prison sentence will be served at the same time as a sentence of one to eight years he received in Caribou County for a July 2020 DUI.

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