Beacon Journal staff

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

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tammy O'Brien also suspended the license of James R. Klein, III, 29, for 15 years.

Prosecutors said Klein was 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 car. His girlfriend, who suffered serious injuries, was found by rescuers outside the car.

"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," county Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a news release.