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Scott Gragson settles with passenger in fatal Summerlin wreck

Las Vegas real estate broker Scott Gragson, serving a prison sentence for driving drunk and causing a fatal 2019 crash in Summerlin, has reached a settlement agreement with a man injured in the wreck.

The confidential agreement was announced during a court hearing Friday, said attorney Randall Jones, who represented Christopher Bentley.

A passenger in Gragson’s vehicle, Bentley suffered a traumatic brain injury in the May 2019 crash at The Ridges in Summerlin.

Gragson had already reached a settlement with the family of 36-year-old Melissa Newton, who was killed in the crash. In that agreement, Gragson was expected to pay her family $21 million. He has also reached settlements with passengers Greg Tassi and Christie Cobbett.

Gragson pleaded guilty to one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, and was sentenced in September 2020 to eight to 20 years in prison.

He is housed at Stewart Conservation Camp, a minimum-security work camp south of Carson City, according to the Nevada Department of Correction’s website.

James Pisanelli, who represented Gragson in the civil case, did not respond to request for comment on Wednesday.

Settlement documents had not been filed as of Wednesday, but a status check in the case is set for Aug. 25, court records show.

Jones declined to comment further on the settlement.

According to Gragson’s arrest report, he told Metropolitan Police Department officers that he drank for about five hours at a charity golf event before the crash. A blood draw taken three hours after the crash measured Gragson’s blood alcohol level at 0.147 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for Nevada drivers.

After leaving the charity event, Gragson rolled up to the security gate at The Ridges community in his Range Rover, smelling of alcohol, the report said.

A guard at the gate told police Gragson was “verbally aggressive,” with slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.

Gragson wanted the guard to let him through the gate without checking in and said he was heading to an “after party.” He then sped down Granite Ridge Drive “at a high rate of speed, not slowing,” the report said.

Newton was one of three back-seat passengers who were ejected when the SUV crashed into a row of trees in the Summerlin neighborhood. Home surveillance video showed Gragson climbing out of the Range Rover after the crash and rushing to one victim’s side, before pulling a large tree branch off another, the report said.

During Gragson’s September 2020 sentencing hearing, attorney Christopher Turtzo read a letter from Bentley, who wrote that he still suffered side effects of his brain injury, including memory loss and a lack of balance and energy.

“Day in and day out, my family deals with the repercussions of Scott Gragson’s poor choices,” Bentley’s daughter Nicole said during the hearing. “I have had to learn to take care of him similar to the way he did me as a child. This accident has left a mark on our family forever. No matter how much progress my father makes in recovery, he will never be the same.”

In February 2020, Gragson said he would accept responsibility “by working to financially settle with all of those impacted.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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