Stepfather Of Tulsa Crash Victim Sounds Off On Drunk Drivers

Monday, June 29th 2009, 12:00 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Nancy Rueb pleaded guilty to killing 27-year-old Cody Spears and 59-year-old Viola Tolbert while driving drunk last November.

On Thursday, Rueb was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Cody Spears' stepfather says the family is "somewhat pleased" with 25 years, but was hoping for more. At the very least, he says this sends a message to drunk drivers.

"It doesn't bother me that people drink; that's fine if they choose to do so. But I am begging them, for the love of God, don't drink and drive. Don't do it," said Eldon Small, Cody Spears' stepfather.

That advice comes too late for Nancy Rueb, who last November slammed into a car that had pulled over on Highway 75 to change a tire.

Five people were inside. Cody Spears and Viola Tolbert were killed and two small children were injured.

On Thursday, a tearful and apologetic Rueb was sentenced to 25 years.

6/25/2009  Related Story: Tulsa Woman Sentenced In Deadly Crash

"Nobody should have to go through what this family went through. The time has come. The time has come where we have to start telling these people who drink and drive, we're not going to put up with it," prosecutor Steve Kunzwiler said Thursday.

Eldon Small says the sentencing means his family can move on, but their ordeal will never really be over.

"You never get over something such as this. You only learn to cope with it. And that's the best way I can describe it. You learn to cope with it," said Small.

Small was hoping for life, but he feels fortunate that Rueb got 25 years. He was worried the judge would be more lenient, and says he has little sympathy for those who choose to drink and get behind the wheel.

"I feel that the law needs to be stiffer on this because that's why so many people are doing it. They don't care. They're not thinking about anyone else but themselves when they drink and drive," said Small.

The Small family has lost a child before.

Cody's younger brother drowned when he was 10-years-old.