- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Pierce County Superior Court judge has sentenced an 86-year-old man to nine months in jail for vehicular assault in a wrong-way injury crash last November on Interstate 5.

Judge Jerry Costello rejected a lesser recommended term for Panos Palas of the Tacoma suburb of University Place, and chose the maximum sentence available within the standard range. The judge said Wednesday that Palas deserved the more severe punishment because he apparently hadn’t learned his lesson from a 2012 DUI arrest. Palas got a break in that case with a reduced charge if he completed a court-ordered program.

The News Tribune reports (https://is.gd/dZDp5K ) that Palas finished that program a few months before he consumed alcohol, drove onto I-5 and headed north in the southbound lanes.

Victim Sarah Myers suffered a badly broken leg and other injuries in last year’s crash.

State troopers say Palas’ blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.12. The legal intoxication threshold is 0.08 in Washington.

Palas apologized to Myers and her family.

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Information from: The News Tribune, https://www.thenewstribune.com


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