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Driver in fatal teen crash could face charges

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Driver in fatal teen crash could face charges

The teen driver in a crash that killed two University High students could be charged with vehicular homicide.

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

Investigators studying the crash scene on Bates Road near Ponderosa Drive found excessive speed caused the crash.

That along with the driver's own serious injuries are certainly things the prosecutor will take into consideration, but it appears that several laws have been broken here including driving at Interstate 90 speeds down a residential street where the posted limit is just 25 miles an hour.

Investigators say the 16 year old was speeding down a hill when his tires lost traction with the roadway in a turn and then slammed into a curb.

"You can see where the front left tire of the vehicle scrubs against the curb and then overcorrects once again, continues to the east curb," said Spokane County Sheriff Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

Gouges from tire rims show the Infinity was actually sideways when it hit the curb for the last time and then launched into the air towards a very large ponderosa pine.

"Which basically caused the vehicle to trip and spin 180 degrees at the same time and unfortunately we all know the tragic ending. The vehicle hits that large tree," said Deputy Chamberlin.

Investigators say the teen's excessive speed shows he was driving in a reckless manner, one of three ways you can be charged with vehicular homicide.

"We will forward the results of this investigation to the prosecutor's office and ultimately they will be the ones who make the decision if they will pursue charges or not," said Deputy Chamberlin.

Prosecutors will also consider that as a new driver the teen wasn't supposed to be shuttling around the victims in the first place. His intermediate license limits passengers to just his family the first six months he's behind the wheel.

"Hopefully this can be a learning tool for the young drivers in our community and it's just very sad and unfortunate that it takes such a tragic situation like this to become an educational tool," said Deputy Chamberlin.

Investigators say there is no evidence that the driver was impaired although a sample of his blood was taken as required by law in fatal crashes.

The prosecutor will meet with the families of the victims to decide whether or not to file charges against the teen. When negligence behind the wheel causes someone's death, charges are usually filed.