Crime

Man pleads guilty to running down pedestrian in Puyallup

An Olympia man pleaded guilty Thursday to vehicular homicide in the death of Christopher Kerns, who was hit by a car while trying to cross a Puyallup street earlier this year.

Joseph Schaffer, 64, is to be sentenced Nov. 21.

Washington State Patrol troopers suspect Schaffer was impaired by drugs and possibly talking on his cell phone when he ran a red light at River Road and North Meridian Street on April 17.

His car hit Kerns before striking another vehicle in the intersection, jumping a curb, knocking over a sign and hitting four other cars, court records show.

Troopers also said Schaffer had been in an earlier car wreck that day on Interstate 5.

Schaffer allegedly told troopers his brakes failed just before he hit Kerns, 42, court records show.

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