Intoxicated driver responsible for Park View student’s death sentenced to 17 years
The intoxicated driver responsible for the death of Park View student Briana Bugg on Sept. 2, 2017 will spend 17 years in prison. Glen Ryland pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced this week in a North Carolina courtroom.
On Sept. 2 of last year, Briana Bugg and her family were visiting North Carolina when the vehilce they were traveling in was struck by Ryland, who was intoxicated while behind the wheel.
Briana’s parents and sister were also in the vehilce at the time of the crash and sustained injury. Briana however, once transported to a local hospital, succumed to injuries sustained during the crash. She would have graduated Park View High School in May of this year.
Ryland was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Briana shortly after the crash.
Appearing in court this week, Ryland said nothing in his defense or to the Bugg family during sentencing and his attorney, Sammy Webb, offered no comment to to Judge Alma Hinton.
At least 20 friends and family members of Briana attended the final sentencing this week.
Many wiped tears from their eyes as Assistant District Attorney Kanter Morris called three witnesses to the stand — the trooper who investigated the crash and Briana’s parents, Tracy and Glenn Bugg.
Trooper Scott Richardson of the North Carolina Highway Patrol told the court that at the time of the crash, Ryland had a .21 blood alcohol content, nearly three times the state’s limit of .08.
Mrs. Bugg told the court that the family had traveled to Greenville for an ECU-James Madison football game. The route they took from their home of South Hill took them down Highway 43 and through Hollister, where the crash occurred around 2:30 p.m.
Her husband was severely injured in the crash and follwing the collision, Briana was laying on top of her sister, Meghann. Briana had a pulse but was unconscious.
After EMS pulled the family from the wreckage, Briana was taken to Nash hospital and then to Vidant in Greenville where the family learned there was no brain activity.
“They let us say goodbye to her. They kept her alive until her daddy could say goodbye,” Mrs. Bugg told the court.
“Briana was a great kid,” Mrs. Bugg continued. “She was a very focused young lady. She was very determined. Volleyball was her sport. She was slated to be president of the Beta Club. We miss her, we really miss her. She was just a really good kid.”
Mr. Bugg, who has gone through multiple surgeries since the crash, remembers the collision with Ryland’ s vehilce sounding like an explosion. He told the court that during the ordeal, the only Bible verse he could remember was the Lord’s Prayer.
“I said the Lord’s Prayer over and over again,” Mr. Bugg recalled
He also told the court that he remembers asking a paramedic to say the prayer with him and they did.
“I bled so much I must have passed out,” he said.
When he woke up the doctors told him they tried everything to save his daughter but there was no brain activity. Last rights were given as she lay in the hospital.
“This was a very tragic case involving Briana Bugg who was just at the beginning her adult life,” District Attorney Valerie Asbell said. “She didn’t deserve to die because of Mr. Ryland’s blatant disregard for other people’s’ lives and the criminal laws. As District Attorney, my office will continue to seek stiff punishments for those people who choose to drive impaired and kill people.”
All other charges against Ryland were dropped in exchange for the second-degree murder plea, a plea which led Hinton to sentence him to a prison term between 207 to 261 months. He was also ordered to pay slightly more than $24,000 in restitution to cover medical, funeral and other expenses incurred by the Bugg family.