Teen driver who killed three to plead guilty Monday

COUPEVILLE — The teenaged girl who was behind the wheel in a car accident that killed three young men on South Whidbey last November is pleading guilty to the charges against her, according to the Island County Prosecutor’s Office.

Kaylea Souza, an 18-year-old Langley resident, is scheduled to plead guilty Monday in Island County Superior Court to three counts of vehicular homicide. She is pleading to the most-serious, DUI-related prong of the charge, which means she’s admitting she was under the influence at the time of the crash.

Deputy Prosecutor David Carman said he worked out a plea bargain with the defense. Under the agreement, both he and the defense attorney will recommend that the judge sentence Souza to four and a half years in prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 30.

Carman said the victims’ families approved the plea bargain.

Charles “Mack” Porter III, 19, Robert Knight, 22, and Marcel “Mick” Poynter, 20, were killed in the Nov. 12, 2011 crash.

Witnesses to the crash saw Souza’s silver 2003 Chevrolet Malibu speeding on Wilkinson Road, then travel off the road and strike a large tree. The car immediately burst into flames.

The witnesses pulled Souza from the car, but weren’t able to remove the three young men. The car was fully engulfed in flames within minutes.

Souza admitted to a police officer that she had consumed malt liquor prior to the crash, but said she “wasn’t that drunk.” While in an ambulance, she yelled out, “I can’t believe they let me drive,” according to court documents.

Blood toxicology results showed that Souza had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 grams per 100 ml at the time of the blood draw. The legal limit in Washington is 0.08.

Souza’s attorney, Peter Simpson of Coupeville, said he and his client will likely make statements about the case at the sentencing hearing.