A Rochester man was sentenced to 20 months in prison for causing a fatal crash on state Route 507.
Corey R. Tribble, 41, appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court after pleading guilty to one count of vehicular homicide.
The crash occurred early Dec. 11, 2014. Tribble tried to illegally pass vehicles while speeding on state Route 507 just south of Yelm when he swerved and lost control of his car. He collided head on with Rainier resident Kenneth Brackett’s vehicle. A witness said Tribble tried to pass about eight vehicles.
Brackett, 51, died from his injuries on Dec. 26, 2014.
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At Monday’s hearing, family members told the court about the devastating effect of Brackett’s death. Brackett was described as a caring father, grandfather, son and friend with a contagious laugh. The Idaho native served 24 years in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and went on to work as a machinist for Boeing.
Dayna Brackett described the trauma of watching her husband fight for his life and said Tribble’s punishment “will never be enough.”
“I have forgiven Mr. Tribble. Kenny would want me to forgive him,” she said. “The thing Kenny would say is that you can’t fix stupid.”
Tribble addressed the court and apologized.
“I wish I could easily replace Mr. Brackett,” he said. “I am really sorry for what happened.”
Tribble’s sentence will be followed by 18 months of probation along with restitution payments. The payments will be determined at a hearing April 7.
According to online records, Tribble was employed as a kindergarten teacher at Southworth Elementary School in the Yelm School District. He received six driving infractions since 2008, including tickets for speeding and following too close.
Judge Carol Murphy said the court was limited to imposing the maximum sentence of 20 months because of state law and Tribble’s lack of criminal history. Murphy praised Brackett’s family for speaking in court and sharing details about his life.
In 2015, Brackett was honored by the Washington State Department of Transportation with a memorial sign at the crash scene.