ELKO – A Montana man who was behind the wheel during a car crash that injured several people more than three years ago was ordered to pay more than $71,000 to two of the passengers.
Richard Scott Norman Harris, 24, was sentenced Sept. 5 in Elko District Court by Judge Nancy Porter to pay a total of $71,353.56.
The amount of restitution for one passenger was set at $63,518.24.
Harris was also given a suspended sentence of four years in prison for each count, to be served consecutively, and was placed on probation for five years. He was given credit for 31 days served in jail, and was also ordered to abstain from alcohol, gambling and marijuana use while on probation.
At Harris’ arraignment on Dec. 18, he initially pleaded not guilty. He changed his plea to no contest in a plea agreement on May 1 to two counts of attempted battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, a category D felony.
According to a report from the Nevada Highway Patrol, on May 17, 2015, Harris was driving a 2007 Dodge Challenger east on South Fork Road with seven passengers inside the vehicle.
As Harris passed through the intersection along the Jiggs Highway, he hit an embankment that caused the vehicle go into the air and eject two passengers. He at first claimed he swerved to avoid a deer, but authorities said they determined the claim was false.
NHP Lt. Tamrah Jackson said at the time of Harris’ arrest that the “significant injuries” of the passengers caused the agency to take longer with its investigation before it was submitted to the Elko County District Attorney’s Office.
On June 16, 2017, Harris turned himself to authorities on five counts of reckless driving, category B felonies, that stemmed from the accident.