Driver charged in 2005 crash

The driver in a 2005 car crash that left a Langley woman dead was charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault Friday by the Island County prosecuting attorney’s office.

J.C. “Jayce” Bahl of Clinton will be arraigned on the two charges on May 12.

Bahl was driving his 1991 Acura Integra north on Langley Road last year when he lost control and hit a dirt embankment.

Authorities say Bahl was driving over the speed limit and had been drinking and using methamphetamine before the accident.

Tinna Ann Rankin, 24, was killed when the car sailed 69 feet before crashing at the base of a large tree just after 2 a.m. March 19, 2005.

Another passenger, John Sutton, suffered a broken left leg and a fractured vertebrae in the crash.

State Troopers who arrived at the scene of the accident smelled alcohol in the car, according to court documents.

Bahl was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and a blood sample was taken at 6:18 a.m. the morning of the accident.

Authorities say the State Patrol toxicology report shows that Bahl still had alcohol, methamphetamine and amphetamine in his blood four hours after the accident.

Bahl, 25, could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty of vehicular homicide. The maximum penalty for vehicular assault is 10 years in jail.

Rankin’s family expressed relief that Bahl had finally been charged in connection with the accident.

“She didn’t have to die. He killed her,” said Tinna Rankin’s mother, Patty Rankin.

Tinna Rankin was the oldest of three girls. Her family recalled a light made brighter by her laugh, her smile and her love for her family.

“Tinna was love. Everything about her. When Tinna loved you, she loved you with everything. How can you replace that?” Patty Rankin asked. “Look what he’s done to us. Look what he’s taken from us and all her friends.”

With the one-year anniversary of the crash passing in March, the family has led a high-profile push for action on the case. They now plan on being in the courtroom when Bahl is arraigned.

Patty Rankin praised Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks for pursuing the case.

“I thank God for him,” Rankin said. “He knows what kind of pain we’re in.”

“He wouldn’t let my daughter be forgotten.”

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