KENT, Wash. - A former Kent city employee who hit and killed a pedestrian when he was driving while drunk in his work vehicle was sentenced today to 8 1/2 years in prison.
Before a judge today, 37-year-old Nicholas Slater apologized for his actions.
He spoke directly to the family and friends of the victim, 73-year-old Alan Kern, who were also in the courtroom.
“The torture of what I did haunts me every day,” said Slater. “I never meant to hurt him, no one.”
Prosecutors said that, on Feb. 23, Slater hit and killed Kern, who had just gotten off a Metro bus.
Slater was driving his maintenance truck and he told authorities he was so drunk, he couldn’t remember hitting anyone.
“I only hope Kern was killed instantly from this horrific incident,” said Marian Kern, the victim’s younger sister. “I will miss his presence in my life and the world. I can never again tell him I loved him.”
Slater had a prior DUI conviction in 2009 but he passed a background check to work for the city.
Slater said he will keep fighting his addiction while in prison and, once he's released, he will help others so they don't end up doing what he did.
“Alcohol just overpowered me. I can’t say how sorry I am,” said Slater. “I don’t deserve forgiveness right now but I do want to earn it.”
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