The three teens who were killed in the crash were students at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek. A 15-year-old girl, a student at Cascade High School in Everett, was the only survivor.
The 16-year-old Everett driver who died along with two friends when he crashed his mother’s SUV into a parked semitruck in Lynnwood last summer was speeding, impaired by marijuana and likely fatigued at the time of the fatal wreck, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
On Friday, the six-month anniversary of the July 26 crash, the Sheriff’s Office released detectives’ findings, detailing the factors that contributed to the deaths of the three teenagers who were students at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek. A 15-year-old girl, who is a student at Cascade High School in Everett, was the only survivor.
The driver had previously been identified as Landon Staley. Also killed were Travin Nelson-Phongphiou, 16, of Everett, and Mikayla Sorenson, 15, of Bothell.
Staley’s mother, Cari Staley, told KOMO-TV in July that her son had sneaked out of the house to drive around with his friends, something he had never done before. She could not be reached for comment Friday.
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Landon Staley got his intermediate driver’s license on June 1. Under state law, drivers under 18 with an intermediate license are not to drive with passengers under age 20 who are not immediate family members for the first six months. They are also barred from driving between 1 and 5 a.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.
In a Friday news release, the Sheriff’s Office included an excerpt of the lead detective’s narrative, which noted several key factors involved in the collision.
“The most obvious and concerning factor is impairment through drug usage by the driver,” the narrative reads.
A blood sample taken from Staley showed he was under the influence of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary mind-altering compound in marijuana, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He had a level of 6.8 nanograms per milliliter of blood, which is significant since the legal limit for people under age 21 is zero, while the legal limit for drivers over age 21 is 5 nanograms per milliliter, says the detective’s narrative.
“In addition to impairment, the driver was speeding, inexperienced, likely fatigued due to the time of day and in violation of his Intermediate License,” it says. “… Whether the driver fell asleep, was interacting with other passengers in the vehicle, changing radio stations, checking his cell phone or doing something else that caused him to drift off the roadway will never be known.”
The four teens were driving north in a Kia Sorrento in the 16900 block of Alderwood Mall Parkway around 4 a.m. July 26 when their vehicle struck the trailer of a parked semitruck and drove underneath it, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said at the time.
It was calculated that Staley’s vehicle was traveling 56 mph just prior to the collision, says the sheriff’s news release. The speed limit on the parkway is 40 mph, according to Snohomish County Public Works.