“We’re at least glad there’s not a trial, but we still miss her everyday,” said Bridget Gambrel aunt of the late Brittney Shoap who died in a high-speed car accident last June.

Yesterday, Ryan West, driver of the 2004 Mustang in which Shoap died, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, in a plea bargain with prosecutors.

West, 22, of Somerset, had faced a murder charge, but by pleading to a lesser charge, avoided a trial. Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy Montgomery recommended a sentence of 10 years on the lesser charge. Montgomery also informed Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette that other injured passengers in the Mustang did not wish to prosecute West on assault charges. Those victims included Anita Michelle Troxtell, 21, and Bobby J. Bruce, 20, who were injured in the accident.

“The biggest part of this is hearing him say he was guilty,” said Tammy Bastin, Brittney’s mother.

Bastin said she wants West in jail as long as possible.

“There’s not any amount of time (that Ryan West could serve) that will bring my daughter back,” said Bastin. “Ten years, 20 years, 50 years isn’t long enough. And if they publicly stoned him it wouldn’t bring my daughter back.”

Bastin also said that with West incarcerated, he will be off the street.

“Maybe that will save someone else,” she said. “If he thinks that getting out on parole will happen, he should think again because I will be there with other victims and a bus load of people to let the parole board know how we feel about it.

“He may think he’s rid of me, but he’s not,” said Bastin.

Standing beside Bastin following the plea was Cassie Hardwick, who also lost her daughter in an accident that involved West. Hardwick’s daughter, Rhonda Crabtree, was killed in 2000 in McCreary County as she attempted to cross U.S. 27 from a parking lot near Kroger U-Save about 1 a.m. Her vehicle struck a vehicle driven by West. Hardwick said at the time West had a .22 blood alcohol level, but got off without even being charged.

“It’s awful her daughter had to lose her life,” said Hardwick.

West was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, which resulted in the death of Brittney Shoap and injuries to two other passengers in June of last year. He was charged with murder and two counts of first-degree assault.

According to investigators, West was driving a 2004 Mustang on West Bourbon Road when he apparently lost control of the vehicle in a curve. The vehicle traveled along the right shoulder and struck several mailboxes and a utility pole, breaking the pole in half, the police report stated.

Sentencing for West is set for May 18.

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