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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

71-year-old man who struck, killed 35-year-old teacher in north Spokane will not face charges

A 71-year-old man will not face charges after striking and killing a 35-year-old special education teacher this winter in north Spokane.

Gary Thompson had been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Mindy Wilson, according to court documents.

A toxicology report prosecutors received this month showed no “intoxicating liquor and/or drugs” in Thompson’s blood aside from 1.2 ng/mL of THC, which is below the legal limit of 5 ng/mL.

“Because impairment cannot be established by the evidence in this case, there is no basis for the State to prosecute the defendant,” Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Anastasiya Krotoff wrote in findings of fact documents, which were signed earlier this month by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fennessy.

According to court documents, Wilson was walking the night of Feb. 3 across Empire Avenue at Morton Street when a white 2020 GMC Canyon pickup truck, driven by Thompson, struck her. The strike sent Wilson into the other lane, where another vehicle ran her over. She died at the scene.

Wilson was walking home from her part-time job at Ferraro’s Restaurant and Bar, according to her husband, Ryan Wilson.

Thompson told police he was driving home from a Spokane Valley restaurant and bar, court records show. He said he was traveling about 30 mph when he struck Wilson, whom he did not see until he hit her.

Thompson said he looked down to adjust his truck radio, heard that he had struck something, looked up and saw Wilson rolling through the intersection. He then saw another vehicle drive over Wilson. Thompson called 911.

Thompson told police he drank at the bar and had one “toke” of cannabis from a pipe that morning.

Police noted an alcohol odor on Thompson’s breath and a “slight slur” in his speech, according to documents. He walked in a straight line without issues.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tony Hazel released Thompson from jail after his arrest, and Superior Court Commissioner Eugene Cruz continued to allow Thompson, who has no criminal history, to be free from jail at his first court appearance three days after the crash.

Wilson taught at Spokane-area schools, pushing for change in the classroom so her students could learn along with other children, loved ones said. She also advocated for safer drop-off and pickup procedures at her own kids’ school.

Ryan Wilson said after the crash his wife “was consistently trying to make things in her neighborhood safer.”

“She was an advocate for those without a voice,” Ryan Wilson wrote via email.

Mindy Wilson is survived by her husband and their two young daughters.

“Her daughters were her entire life, and she loved being a mom,” said Gabrielle Weiss, Mindy Wilson’s friend. “Being a mom brought her so much joy.”