Drunken driver gets 4 1/2 years for death of teacher


Staff writer

A Spokane man who was driving drunk when he hit and killed a Federal Way school teacher last summer in Spokane will spend the next four and a half years in prison.

Jimmy D. Brewer, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault and was sentenced in Spokane County Superior Court on Jan. 24.

He had no prior criminal history.

According to police, Brewer was driving drunk July 31 when he crashed his pickup truck into an automobile driven by Lake Grove Elementary School teacher Patricia Klasen, 46, who was in Spokane with her daughter for a softball tournament.

Witnesses told police it didn’t appear that Brewer tried to brake before the collision.

Klasen and her daughter were taken to Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, where Klasen later died. Her daughter suffered serious injuries but was released from the hospital the next afternoon.

Judy Lemmel, principal at Lake Grove, said everyone at the school remains saddened by Klasen’s death and is disappointed in the sentence given to Brewer.

“She was a wonderful asset to the community. She was a wonderful teacher,” she said. “She had another 20 years to give.”

Staff writer Erica Jahn: 925-5565 and

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