Driver charged in Clinton wreck that left three dead

The teen driver in the crash that killed three South Whidbey men was charged with three counts of vehicular homicide Tuesday in Island County Superior Court.

Kaylea F. Souza, 18, was arrested just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday. An Island County judge ordered her held on $150,000 bail Saturday pending charges from the accident.

“Our hearts go out to the families,” said Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks.

“Their sudden and violent deaths have stunned the entire community,” Banks said. “We are saddened and bewildered as we try to make sense of such a senseless act.”

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.

Two people in a passing car pulled Souza from the wreck but could not save the three passengers.

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

According to documents filed in the case, Souza told a State Trooper in the emergency room at Whidbey General Hospital after the crash that she had consumed a 40-ounce container of Mickey’s beer earlier.

She said she also drank Olde English, another brand of malt liquor, the night of the accident.

The officer said Souza’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, and he could smell intoxicants on her breath.

The Langley officer also said Souza said, "I wasn't that drunk" and later yelled out, "I can't believe they let me drive."

Banks said blood toxicology results are pending.

If Souza is convicted on the charges, Banks said, she faces a sentence of 51 months to 68 months.

Souza remains in jail.

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

Her arraignment on the charges is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 28.

The accident was the deadliest on South Whidbey in five years, the worst since the devastating accident that killed two teenagers in Langley in March 2006.

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