A Richfield man has been sentenced to five years in prison for a crash last August that seriously injured his girlfriend.

James R. Klein, III, 29, also had his license suspended for 15 years by Common Pleas Court Judge Tammy O’Brien.

Authorities say Klein had been drinking at the Clearview Inn when he “took his girlfriend’s car keys and decided to drive himself home.” Not wanting to be left alone at the bar, the girlfriend jumped into the car.

On the way home, Klein ran a stop sign, hit an embankment and flipped the car. Klein had to be extracted from the the car. His girlfriend, who suffered serious injuries, was found by rescuers outside of the car.

“This is a prime example of the dangers of drinking and driving, and Mr. Klein is very fortunate that no one was killed,” said Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh in a prepared statement. “This is Mr. Klein’s fourth OVI within the past six years. I am absolutely disgusted that he would continue to get behind the wheel after drinking, particularly after having already been convicted of multiple drunk-driving offenses.”

A jury found Klein guilty of aggravated vehicular assault, operating under the influence and driving under suspension in June.