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Teen driver in fatal crash held on $150,000 bail

An Island County judge has ordered the driver in a triple-fatality car accident near Clinton held on $150,000 bail.

Kaylea F. Souza, 18, was arrested just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday on three charges of vehicular homicide.

Souza had a preliminary court appearance via a three-way telephone call with District Court Judge Peter Strow and her jailer just after 3 p.m. Saturday.

Strow ruled there was probable cause for Souza's arrest for vehicular homicide and set bail at $150,000.

If Souza is released on bail, Strow said she must not drink alcohol, cannot leave the state, cannot drive under any circumstances, and cannot refuse a drug test.

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said Monday that he expects Souza to make her first court appearance Wednesday.

"I expect that she will be charged this week," Banks said.

Saturday's telephonic court appearance was necessary because people who are arrested must appear before a judge within 48 hours or be released. Banks said such hearings are usually held in the county jail and are simple affairs; a telephone on a desk in the jail with the defendant and jailer standing by, and an on-call judge on the telephone.

Banks said Souza could face arraignment on Nov. 28.

"Assuming we charge her on Wednesday, which we should do, then we will set an arraignment date, most likely two weeks from today," Banks said.

Banks said he was awaiting a detective's report on the investigation from the Washington State Patrol before moving ahead on a charging decision.

According to the State Patrol, Souza was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu south on Wilkinson Road near Clinton when she lost control while passing another vehicle and hit a tree sometime near midnight Friday, Nov. 11.

Three people died in the crash; Rob Knight, 22, Mick Poynter, 20, and Mack Porter, 19. The State Patrol said speed and alcohol were factors in the accident.

Souza, a 2011 graduate of Bayview School and a Langley resident, was taken to Whidbey General Hospital for treatment after the accident and was later booked into the Island County jail.

Banks said he first heard about the accident via a news report Saturday.

"It's just a rotten, rotten case," he said.

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