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Oregon crash defendant tries to make amends

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2009/09/11 16:42

No one disputes that Jack Alvord, driving drunk, struck a blind man on a sidewalk and then drove off. Still, even the prosecutor and the victim agree that Alvord has gone to great lengths to make amends.

Alvord pleaded guilty last month to drunken driving, third-degree assault and reckless driving in Multnomah County Circuit Court. He also pleaded no contest to hit-and-run driving.

On Thursday, Judge Michael McShane sentenced him to 22 months in prison.

Defense lawyer Jim O'Rourke told the court that Alvord booked himself into a 30-day residential treatment center. He pushed his insurance company to settle with his victim for $1.25 million. Once he is out of prison, he has agreed to sit beside the man he injured, Norman Larkin, and tell other drunken drivers what happened when he made the decision to drink and drive.

Larkin says he now considers Alvord "a new friend." The 51-year-old Larkin suffered a broken pelvis and broken legs when Alvord's car jumped onto the sidewalk Feb. 7 and pinned him against a utility pole.

Fourteen people saw the crash and some followed Alvord, 61, as he drove off. They boxed him in less than a mile away.

Alvord had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 percent, approaching four times the legal intoxication threshold.

Larkin acknowledges he was angry and in a lot of pain for a few weeks but says he now believes Alvord is truly remorseful.


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