LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Three passengers who survived when Scott Gragson crashed his SUV as he sped away from a charity golf tournament have told their stories to a grand jury.
Melissa Newton, a 36-year-old mother of three, never got the chance.
Newton died in the May 30 crash in Summerlin.
Gragson was arrested on charges related to drunk driving, but he remains free on bail, subject to electronic monitoring. His trial is scheduled in March 2020.
Five people were in the Range Rover SUV when it crashed, and the three surviving passengers have testified in front of the grand jury.
The I-Team’s Vanessa Murphy obtained records with new details.
There are photos of two of the surviving passengers in the hospital, but few people will ever see them because they are so graphic.
One passenger says he can’t remember what happened before the crash because of a bad head injury.
Descriptions of the crash scene are disturbing.
“Is that girl alright?” Gragson is heard to say. “Promise me.”
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer testified that Gragson kept pointing to the dismembered body of Newton. He kept asking if she was OK.
Gragson asks, “Is she dead?”
“Well, sir, I’m gonna tell you this, it’s not good,” the officer responds.
It turns out that Gragson didn’t even know Newton.
Moments before the crash, Gragson argued with a security guard at the Ridges in Summerlin after leaving the Links for Life charity golf tournament at the wheel of the SUV. Gragson was driving the group to a party.
After the argument, Gragson sped off, reaching 82 mph before the vehicle went out of control.
Photos and surveillance show the path of the SUV, crashing to the right and then the left.
Gragson walked out of the SUV, but the other three passengers were hurt.
Christopher Bentley landed in the street. He testified in court he suffered brain injuries, and that he still struggles. He doesn’t remember the crash.
Front seat passenger Greg Tassi testified he still has headaches and ringing in his ear. At the scene, Gragson looked him in the eye and said, “The girl’s dead. She’s dead. That girl is dead.”
Passenger Christie Cobbett testified she received stitches and suffered a broken ankle and other injuries.
Gragson was indicted on eight felony counts, and pleaded not guilty on Aug. 1.
Police said his blood alcohol level was .181 less than two hours after the crash, and he failed a sobriety test at the scene.
Bentley has filed a lawsuit against Gragson.
An attorney for the other two surviving passengers and the family of Melissa Newton said they are getting ready to file a lawsuit against Gragson, too.
None of the passengers had expressed concerns about Gragson driving, and the event was widely described a “people drinking all day.”
One of the crash survivors had remarked that she was going to call a service to get her home after drinking, but at the last minute she decided to head to the party with others.