Statepatrol: speed was top factor in Feb. 28 crash

Published on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 by Tara Nelson

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State patrol: speed was top factor in Feb. 28 crash

By Tara Nelson

Detectives with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) have completed their investigation of a February 28 crash that killed two Blaine high school girls and injured two others.

Craig Cardinal, a detective with the WSP, said officials turned the investigation findings into the Whatcom County prosecutor’s office on May 12 with the recommendation of two charges of vehicular homicide and two charges of vehicular assault against the 17-year-old driver of a white 2004 Subaru Impreza that was involved in the collision.

Cardinal said the recommendations were based on a reconstruction of the scene and witness statements that determined speed was the underlying cause of the accident. “The charges were recommended based on the presumed disregard of safety to others in the vehicle and how it was being driven at the time,” Cardinal said. “But the decision will ultimately be up to the prosecutors.”

Cardinal did not say whether the driver of the vehicle carrying two Blaine boys would be charged.

Anna Gigliotti, a Whatcom County juvenile prosecuting attorney, said while she could not comment on the case, a charge of vehicular homicide carries a sentence of 15 to 36 weeks in a juvenile detention facility.

A charge of vehicular assault carries sentencing of up to 30 days in a juvenile detention, 150 hours of community supervision and up to 500 hours of community service.

Gigliotti said the review should be complete within a few weeks. “Depending on that, it will be decided if it goes to trial or not,” she said.