116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A mother said Tuesday she considered her daughter their “miracle” when she was born, their “pride and joy.”
No parent should have to go through losing a child, Elaine Detweiler said in a victim impact statement. A parent shouldn’t have to experience police coming to the door one night to tell those parents their daughter, Dawn Elaine Detweiler Stout, 43, of Cedar Rapids, was killed in a car crash.
“I still have nightmares of officers giving us that news,” Detweiler said in her statement read by a victim/witness coordinator with the Linn County Attorney’s Office.
She said she still couldn’t talk about her daughter’s death, which happened April 1, 2020, without crying. They were each other’s “confidant” who talked every night.
This wasn’t an “accident — it was a crash,” caused by Bryce Wagehoft, who was driving on a suspended license, Detweiler said. She believes he should get the maximum sentences on each charge, instead of the plea deal he received.
Wagehoft, 32, of Coralville, originally charged with vehicular homicide — under the influence of drugs, pleaded guilty in February to the other charge, vehicular homicide — recklessness as an habitual offender. He also pleaded to third-offense operating while intoxicated, forgery, driving while barred and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Jason Besler ran the vehicular homicide and OWI sentences consecutively and the other charges concurrently to those for a total of 20 years in prison, in accordance with the plea agreement. Wagehoft must serve a mandatory minimum of three years before being eligible for parole.
During the hearing, Wagehoft said he has been thinking about what he would say to Stout’s family for two years, but he is “aware there is nothing I can say that will convey my remorse.” He knows he can’t seek their forgiveness but he’s aware his actions took a “beautiful person” from this Earth and “for that I am truly sorry.”
In other victim statements, Ashlynd Scott, Stout’s daughter, said Wagehoft was a repeated habitual offender, was driving with a suspended license and was on pretrial release when he was smoking methamphetamine and “killed my mother.”
Scott said Wagehoft should also have been convicted on the other vehicular homicide charge. His criminal record has shown “he doesn’t respect the law.”
Michael Stout, Stout’s son, said he missed his “confidant, protector and mentor” who always supported his childhood and adult dreams and aspirations. She was a “beautiful woman with a warm and kind soul.”
Stout also talked about mercy and God having ultimate justice, according to the Bible, and told Wagehoft he forgave him.
According to a criminal complaint, Wagehoft passed another vehicle about 5:37 p.m. on April 1, 2020, when he approached a hill where there was construction east of Atkins and crashed into an oncoming vehicle driven by Stout. She died at the scene.
Wagehoft was ejected and trapped beneath his vehicle, according to authorities. He was taken to a hospital along with two passengers.
Crash data from Wagehoft’s vehicle showed he was driving 84 mph five seconds before impact. He didn’t brake until one second before impact, hitting Stout’s vehicle at about 71 mph, which was over the speed limit at 12001 Ellis Rd. in Palo.
A toxicology report showed amphetamines, marijuana metabolites and opiates in Wagehoft’s system at the time of the crash, according to the complaint. A Linn County sheriff’s deputy said Wagehoft admitted he was a heroin addict and that he smoked methamphetamine the morning of the crash.
Investigators found two spoons, syringes and a pipe used to smoke drugs inside Wagehoft’s vehicle, the complaint stated. The pipe smelled of marijuana, and a spoon tested positive for opiates.
His driver’s license was barred at the time of the crash, and he had two previous convictions for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Online records show Wagehoft has a lengthy criminal history, mostly in Johnson County. He has been convicted of drug possession, thefts, domestic abuse assault, probation violations and filing false reports, in addition to the driving-related offenses.
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