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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Driver who killed pedestrian near Gonzaga and fled gets almost 3 1/2 years in prison

Michael Donahey was killed in a hit-and-run Jan. 6 near Gonzaga University. (Courtesy)
Michael Donahey was killed in a hit-and-run Jan. 6 near Gonzaga University. (Courtesy)

The driver who hit and killed a 50-year-old pedestrian in January then fled from the scene was sentenced to nearly 3 1/2 years in prison in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Nicholas Wesbrooks, 34, hit Michael Donahey on Hamilton Street with a Ford Escape as the pedestrian crossed the road at Spokane Falls Boulevard, according to cout records. Donahey died at the scene.

Court records show the traffic light was green when Wesbrooks hit Donahey and the pedestrian did not have the right of way. Witnesses said they saw Wesbrooks’ SUV speed off from the scene.

A police officer later stopped Wesbrooks, who had ditched his car and was traveling on foot, but the suspect said he had not been in a car that night. Police later found the abandond suspect vehicle about a mile from the crash scene.

Wesbrooks remained at large until the end of January when a Spokane police detective and county prosecutor recognized the suspect during a court appearance for an unrelated driving under the influence charge.

Donahey, who was homeless, was known for giving his nieces and nephews gifts when he visited even though he had little to give, according to his sister.

Wesbrooks will serve 41 months in prison for fatal hit and run.

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