Driver With Learner's Permit Strikes, Kills Valley Man

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A Spokane Valley man was killed Tuesday afternoon when a woman crashed her car into his yard near the intersection of 32nd and Glenn in Spokane Valley.

Authorities say the driver, 36-year-old Claudia Salazar, did not have a driver's license but has a permit and had a licensed driver in the car with her.

Salazar was driving southbound on Glenn and was coming up to a stop sign. Afraid she was going to hit the car in front of her, she confused the brake pedal with the gas pedal and accelerated her Ford Explorer.

Salazar's SUV jumped onto the sidewalk, cut across the front yard of Wesley Abney's home, where he was standing at the time. She failed to hit the brakes and hit Abney, who died from injuries sustained in the collision.

None of the four people in the SUV were injured.

No criminal charges have been filed against Salazar and authorities do not believe that any drugs or alcohol were contributing factors in the crash.