KENNEWICK, WA – Katie Summers, the woman who hit and killed Leonel Birrueta on his moped over three years ago, is now sentenced to two years and two months in prison.
On August 21, 2018, Summers was driving home from dinner after a night out with her boyfriend, that’s when court documents say she hit motorcyclist Birrueta on his moped when he was driving westbound on Clearwater dr. through a green light. Summers was trying to make a left turn on Edison St. going eastbound on Clearwater dr.
According to the documents, she stopped for a few minutes and then drove away from the collision where Birrueta laid in the street, Summers then made a U-turn on Edison St. and parked in the parking lot of Albertson’s adjacent to the scene.
She never went to check on Birrueta and never called 911.
When authorities showed up on the scene after witnesses continued to try to do CPR on Birrueta, Summers never identified herself to the police. A witness pointed out summer’s sitting in her truck to police and she was arrested by Kennewick Police Department in the parking lot.
KPD said she smelled of alcohol but they never did a field sobriety test on the scene.
After witnesses confirmed Summers was the driver of the truck that killed Birrueta, officers took her to a local hospital for a blood test. Her blood was drawn four hours after the collision and had an alcohol content of 0.66 g/100mL, she also tested positive for THC.
She was originally sentenced to one count of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, and disregard for the safety of others but the prosecuting attorney’s found it hard to prove that she was under the influence the night of the crash so they allowed her to plead guilty to…
“The hit and run as an injury as well as the vehicular homicide with disregard for the safety of others,” said Megan Killgore, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Benton County.
Thursday, May 5, 2022 Summers was in court again pleading guilty, the judge, Alex Ekstrom for Benton County Superior Court brought up the fact that Summers didn’t help Birrueta or call the police that night.
“Anyone whos involved in a collision should always follow that rule,” said Killgore.
When I spoke with Trooper Sarah Clasen from Washington State Patrol, she told me there are a few laws people need to follow if they get into a collision.
1. Pull over into a safe area near the scene
2. Exchange information (if you can)
3. Call authorities if necessary, such as 911.
“It’s always going to be worse if you leave the scene, regardless it’s important that, we understand that people are scared,” said Trooper Clasen. “We understand that people may be their not licensed, maybe they don’t have insurance, they have other reasons they don’t want to stay at the scene but leaving the scene is always going to make it 100 times worse.”
During Summers trial on Thursday, her lawyer for a parenting sentencing alternative, but both the deputy prosecuting attorneys felts that, that alternative wasn’t enough for the circumstances of the case.
“We thought that the high end of the standard range of the 27 months was appropriate for our recommendation,” said Killgore.
When I explained the case to Trooper Clasen to ask her professional opinion, she said…
“Her disregard for others, feelings, families and knowing that you could just leave the scene with somebody’s deceased there, knowing that you were at fault in that collision and just to be able to move on and pretend like it didn’t happen,” said Trooper Clasen. “That’s pretty serious issues there.”
Many of Birrueta’s family and community members have been outspoken about the trial of Katie Summers on social media.
Article Source: Fox 11