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It was an accident, the deaths are punishment enough. Teen driver killed two.

Posted by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:27 PM
  • 277 Replies


Detectives pursuing vehicular homicide charges against teen driver

Author: Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter ,
Published On: Oct 30 2013 03:53:53 PM PDT

University High crash memorial



Spokane County Sheriff's deputies are pursuing vehicular homicides charges against the teen driver who killed two of his University High School classmates on Oct. 5.

Sophomores Josie Freier and McKenzie Mott died when the car they were in hit a curb, went airborne and slammed into a tree.

Previously it was revealed the 16-year-old driver was traveling at freeway speeds in a neighborhood where the posted speed limit is 25 miles an hour. Detectives have interviewed friends of the victim who say the trio had left a nearby party with the intention of doing something called the "Ponderosa Jump," a crest of a hill where, if you get enough speed, you can get your car airborne.

Friends, according to court documents, say this was not the first time the 16-year-old had jumped this hill in a car, but on Oct. 5, unfortunately, he lost control of his car before ever reaching the hill. He tried to steer his way through two curves, lost control and then ended up getting tossed into the air by a curb and then collided with a ponderosa pine.

Detectives have filed a search warrant for the teen's record from his driving school to know more about his driving skills. Authorities say this brand new driver, who had just received his license one day before the fatal crash, wasn't allowed to have his friends in the car in the first place.

"The intermediate drivers license restriction is in place to protect young drivers from incidents just like this one," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

"To not have those added distractions in their vehicle. We're not happy about having to investigate this. It's a tragedy. It's sad for multiple people, just not in the valley but our entire community and hopefully in the long run we can use this as an educational tool," Chamberlin added.

If investigators do ask for vehicular homicides charges, this 16-year-old probably would be prosecuted as a juvenile and would face a punishment measured in weeks instead of months.

This is local.  It has been heartbreaking since the day it happened.  The community coming together for the two girls killed.  Even for the kid driving.

However, it seems many feel he should not be held accountable, per the law, as he has to live with the death of the two girls.  

This tragedy has been used, and will continue to be used, as a jumping off point to talk with kids about how they are not invincible and how it is important to take driving seriously, as well as the laws surrounding that privilege.

Personally, it is beyond sad for every one invovled.  Including the driver.  However, the law cannot stop because people feel the consequneces should be punishment enough.

Your thoughts on situations like this?

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:27 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Platinum Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:29 PM
9 moms liked this

I'd be on suicide watch. 

by Bronze Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:29 PM
13 moms liked this
He should be charged, not locked up forever but people did die here
by Platinum Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:54 PM
21 moms liked this
Yeah he needs to face some sort of consequences. I mean, my cousin killed a girl in a drunk driving accident, should he not have been charged or gone to jail because 'he has to live with her death'?

He was breaking several laws, he should face the consequences.
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by Mahinaarangi on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:58 PM
3 moms liked this

Reckless driving that caused death is Manslaughter here.  IMO they should be punished as per the law.  It is a stepping stone for others to learn that speed kills.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:59 PM
19 moms liked this

It may have been accidental in the respect that he did not intend for anyone to be injured, let alone killed BUT he willfully disobeyed the law regarding the restrictions set on young drivers and he was intentionally speeding with the intent of getting his vehicle air-borne upon reaching the crest. Yes, he should be charged but as VinVanMom, not locked up forever. He was responsible for the safety of those in his vehicle, he ignored that responsibility and the law so he should suffer the consequences of his actions.

by René on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:02 PM
2 moms liked this

Yes he should be accountable and charged with manslaughter and get a light incarceration and heavy community service sentence IMO.

by Emerald Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:02 PM
2 moms liked this

Tough call.  He will live with it for the rest of his life, but I agree justice can not hinder on that.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM
10 moms liked this
I think jails should be reserved for violent offenders, not dumb kids. He should have to pay restitution or something for the rest of his life.
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:16 PM
2 moms liked this

    If he was legally in the wrong he should be charged.  

  I have started my response and erased my response numerous times.   I don't like bad drivers, and especially hate careless drivers.  If he is disregarding the rules on the 1rst day, I don't see it getting any better.  



by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:23 PM
20 moms liked this

A vehicle is a deadly as any gun ~ and those who don't respect that, or understand that, need to be charged when they harm others. Claiming he is just a kid doesn't bring back the lives he took. There is no restitution he can pay that will do that, which means punishment is the only option. If more teens were charged and punished, it would set a benchmark that others might start to pay attention to. Imo if he is old enough to hold a driver's license, even a junior one, he is old enough to be held accountable to driving laws and penalties.

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