She drove after drinking and killed a Fircrest man walking his dog. Here’s her sentence

Pierce County/Courtesy

A 25-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving crash that killed a longtime Pierce County employee in Fircrest has been sentenced to four years in prison, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesman Adam Faber said Monday.

Kassandra Soria was sentenced Friday, three months after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, reckless driving and two driving under the influence-related charges as part of a plea bargain, court records show.

Robert Riler, 70, who was walking his dog at the time of the crash on Nov. 28, 2021, died from multiple blunt-force injuries the next day.

Riler had been an employee with the county’s Human Services Department for 17 years and had only retired a few months before the crash from his position as an education and outreach specialist with the county’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, according to an email announcing his passing to all county employees in early December 2021.

Authorities said Soria barreled down a residential street in a Dodge Magnum at more than twice the posted speed limit, briefly went airborne crossing an intersection and crashed into a parked car that struck Riler.

The incident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. around the 700 block of Claremont Street. The Magnum was traveling 67 mph when airbags were deployed, according to court records.

Soria had been driving a friend home from a house in University Place, where the two had been drinking, when she crashed into a parked Toyota Highlander that then struck Riler, court records show.

At the scene, Soria was “incoherent and smelled of intoxicants,” according to a probable cause statement.

Three minutes before the crash, authorities received a 911 call reporting a speeding Magnum in University Place. The caller later told a Fircrest detective that the vehicle had swerved over a median and onto the wrong side of the road, court records show.

Soria was expecting a child last month, according to court records.

An ordained priest remembered as kind, generous

Riler was “the positive, heartwarming and personable face of the ADRC, and he organized almost all its community events for seniors in recent memory,” the county had said in its email to employees, which the county shared with The News Tribune on Monday in response to an inquiry.

The email noted that other counties had remarked that they “wished they had a Bob Riler in our county, too.”

“He challenged us to grow professionally and personally, encouraging us to keep reaching higher,” Kris Dowling, a department case manager, said in a statement in the email.

The county said that Riler’s kindness, generosity and sense of humor would be missed. He was an ordained Catholic priest in Olympia and Puyallup until 2000, when he married, according to the email.

“He continued to officiate weddings over the last two decades,” the county wrote. “In his own words, he liked ‘to get to know couples, to hear their story … their hopes and dreams for themselves and for each other.’”