Alvin Hollinquest pleaded guilty Wednesday for the Parkland wreck that killed his girlfriend.
The 51-year-old said the crash happened when 42-year-old Taryn Knox grabbed the steering wheel as they were arguing.
“That’s probably exactly what happened,” deputy prosecutor Tim Jones told the court.
The failed brakes on Hollinquest’s van didn’t help, Jones said.
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“He had to have known the brakes were bad prior to this incident,” the deputy prosecutor said.
They’d been fixed recently with what appeared to be a faulty repair job, Jones added.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff sentenced Hollinquest to credit for time served. Hollinquest spent three days in jail between his arrest and his posting bail while he awaited the resolution of his case.
The crash happened Dec. 16, 2017 when Hollinquest’s minivan crossed the center line and hit a truck in the 1900 block of 116th Street South.
Knox later died from her injuries.
Defense attorney Kelsey Page noted that Hollinquest doesn’t have any prior felonies.
Page told the court her client suffered a debilitating injury as a commercial fisherman that had left him out of work and that he had been self-medicating. Tests after the wreck showed that he had trace amounts of cocaine and some THC in his system.
“He was in a lot of pain” and was suffering from depression, Page said.
He’s gone to treatment since the wreck, she said.
Hollinquest’s true sentence, she said, is the loss of his “beloved girlfriend” of nine years. Hollinquest and Knox had lived together.
“That was my girl,” an emotional Hollinquest told the judge when it was his turn to address the court.
He said there was some ice on the road the day of the wreck.
After she grabbed the wheel, “I just couldn’t regain control,” Hollinquest said.
Chushcoff questioned whether the case should have been dismissed.
The judge said it was foolish of Hollinquest to use the drugs but that it was hard to say that was the proximate cause of Knox’s injuries.
“But, we have a plea of guilty,” Chushcoff said.
With that, he sentenced Hollinquest to time served.