PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man has been ordered to serve 20 years in prison for his part in a 2017 fatal crash. According to Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting, Justin Bittick was highly intoxicated when he drove off the road with four others in his car. They were headed home from a bar after 2 in the morning, October 21, 2017. The vehicle rolled several times after he failed to negotiate a curve. Investigators believe he was going 58 mph when he lost control. No one was wearing a seatbelt and all five were ejected.
Pronounced dead at the scene were 23-year-old Caleb Williams and 21-year-old Stephan Leader-Bowles; the other three were critically injured. Prosecutors say Bittick’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, and he had meth in his system.
A jury found the 38-year-old guilty of 14 counts, in June. The D.A. says the jury found Bittick showed extreme indifference to the value of human life. During Thursday's sentence Bittick gave a brief statement apologizing to the families of the victims. He told them, "My remorse, apology and regret will never make up for the pain that has been experienced. I pray that God's mercy and grace will be with us all."
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, without the possibility of early release. He'll then serve 36 months post-prison supervision.