Rivard sentenced for crash that injured officer

Ryan Rivard in court for his sentencing hearing on Friday, May 2, 2014. (WLUK/Laura Smith)
Ryan Rivard in court for his sentencing hearing on Friday, May 2, 2014. (WLUK/Laura Smith)

GREEN BAY - A man convicted of crashing into a Green Bay police squad car while driving drunk has learned his punishment.

Ryan Rivard, 26, was sentenced Friday in Brown County court to 9 years in prison. He also received 11 years extended supervision and can't consume alcohol for the next 20 years.

Ryan Rivard was convicted in March after pleading no contest to several charges.

The prosecution said Rivard had been drinking before speeding down Lombardi Avenue, eventually crashing into the squad car.

Officer Tracy Liska suffered serious injuries in the crash.

Friday, Liska took the stand and described how Ryan Rivard's choices on the night of August 4 changed her life.

"Just seconds prior, I was walking out the door of Kwik Trip and now a paramedic was telling me I was going to be cut out of my squad car," said Liska.

According to court documents, Rivard was driving nearly 100 miles per hour in an area with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

Liska said she still suffers from her injuries. She recalled leaving the hospital 8 days after the crash.

"With a plate and screws in me that repaired a shattered clavicle, along with broken ribs, a punctured lung, a tear in my knee, torn ligaments in my back and neck and back pain - I went from being athletic to relying on my husband 100 percent," Liska said.

Liska said she is back on the job, but has not been able to return to patrol.

And she and her family are dealing with more than just the physical pain.

"The emotional scars to my family will last a lifetime. My children will always wonder if I will make it home safe," Liska said.

Rivard's attorney said her client, who's been convicted of four OWIs in the last six years, is truly remorseful. Rivard apologized to Liska.

"I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me and more importantly I hope you and your family can get some closure and comfort from this apology," Rivard said.

The judge said he received many letters in support of Rivard, people who love and respect him.

And the judge acknowledged Rivard's had a difficult life.

However, he still had harsh words.

"There's a good argument, why should her two children grow up and you know have to walk down the same sidewalk that you get to walk down when you came this close to taking away their mother? Why do you deserve the same rights and privileges to walk in this community that they do?" said Judge William Atkinson.

Rivard's next stop is Dodge County Correctional. The judge sentenced him to 9 years in prison and 11 years of extended supervision.