Olympic High student charged with 3 counts of vehicular homicide after deadly crash

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PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A teenager faces three counts of vehicular homicide following a deadly accident over the weekend. The 17-year-old Olympic High School student was charged in juvenile court Monday afternoon.

Investigators say Luther James Wiggins-Stoudermire, 18, Kassidy Miranda Clark, 16, and Jenna Farley, 14, were killed in the accident after leaving a party. All three were students at Olympic High School in Bremerton.

Classmate Anissa Coleman and other students were inside the courtroom. She knows all of the victims and the driver.

“He has so much weight on his shoulders,” said Coleman. “He’s the type of person to just blame it on himself and that’s going to be a burden to him forever.”

Prosecutors say the 17-year-old driver smoked pot before getting behind the wheel and losing control of his car. The crash happened on Seabeck-Holly Road NW, about a mile south of Seabeck in western Kitsap County early Sunday morning.

Deputies found the car, a 1996 Toyota Corolla, on its top in a drainage ditch alongside the road. The teen was driving 75 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to investigators.

“It is hard for all of us; it is overwhelming for the whole family,” said the suspect’s aunt.

A hearing is scheduled to determine if the teenager, whose name is being withheld, will be charged as an adult. A judge released him from custody to his parents Monday.

Outside of Olympic High School, students created a memorial for the victims. A candlelight vigil was scheduled for Monday night.

Principal Rebecca Johnson at Olympic High School released this statement:

“Today is a sad day at Olympic High School and Central Kitsap School District. We are all grieving the loss of our students involved in yesterday’s car accident. They were active members of our school, and our hearts go out to their families and friends. We have provided extra counselors to be here for students and staff. This is a difficult time; for now, we are just focusing on supporting our students and each other.”

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39 comments

    • jeff

      I have to agree. While I am in no means defending the kid…75 mph in a 45 while stoned? Only those that have zero knowledge of marijuana would think that mj would drive him to do nearly double the speed limit. I won’t speculate on anything else though cause I don’t know the kid. Absolutely sucks for everyone involved.

  • Kit

    Maybe the driver was unfamiliar with the road. Those country roads are dangerous, dark and have a few curves for the unsuspecting driver. Perhaps, he should not be allowed to drive again. Pretty sad.

  • Jb

    The question is what were kids that age still doing out at 3 in the morning? The parents have tp take some responsibility what ever happened to a curfew.

    • jeff

      Hard to say. Did their parents just say “go get drunk and party it up”? Or could the kids have been staying somewhere that was supposed to be safe, then made a terrible decision. The facts aren’t there yet. At least give them a chance to grieve before laying unfounded blame.

  • Mike Descombaz

    Seriously Anissa Coleman??? So much weight on his shoulders, he just killed three (3) three (3) three (3) people, get a grip girl!

    • Beth

      You talk as if he intended to kill them when in reality he was just providing them transportation. Accidently causing the death of 3 people is a heavy weight indeed. If he had any idea of the outcome, of course he would have made better choices that night.

      • lisafry01

        BUt that’s the things…we tell kids over and over that drugs/drinking/speeding and driving can have this outcome. But no one thinks it will happen to them until it does. It can be the outcome if you engage in it- so think before you do it.

    • OHS Student

      Why don’t you just back off, I knew all four of the teens in that vehicle, I was friends with three of them, including the driver. We’ve already been through enough and we don’t need someone who is supposed to be a grown man telling us to get a “grip.” Anissa doesn’t need this, which so you know she’s also a friend of mine, everything she said about the driver was true, he was a kindhearted guy who got along with everyone, it was never his intention to harm any of his friends, he was just trying to do a good thing. Regardless of his condition, he still had good intentions.

      • lisa

        Sorry- but trying to do a good thing doesn’t cover deciding to drive while high at 30 mph over the limit on a curvy country road. That isn’t called “helping out a friend.” That is endangering a friend. And until teens see that these actions have consequences, and could have been avoided if they made a different choice, these accidents will be repeated. Admitting you did something wrong is a first step. Just saying…whoops he was a nice guy and didn’t mean to hurt anyone completely negates the absolute irresponsibility he engaged in that ended three people’s lives.

        • OHS Student

          I just feel as though no one realises that he has to live the rest of his life knowing he killed three of his friends, one whom was his best friend. Yeah, he was at fault for driving over the speed limit while impaired, but it was never his intention to kill those three. No, I’m not saying he shouldn’t be punished for what he did, but how would you feel if you were in his position? Would you want to be locked up for a single mistake you made and on top of that have the constant reminder that your friends are dead? How does that sound? It sounds like hell to me, living a life where some of your closest friends are dead and knowing that your the reason why sounds like a punishment enough all in itself.

      • enid

        You are what is wrong with the world today, this is an ADULT, 17 yr old who made a stupid decision! A car is a weapon, getting behind the wheel impaired is malicious intent, he should be charged as an adult but clearly his parents paid someone off! It won’t be the last time this LOSER does this, because he clearly has stupid parents, and stupid friends to cover his ass! No matter what he does, what he says, he murdered 3 people, he is the lowest of the low, and I am sure he will always have a foot in the gutter…..spoiled brats usually do because they find someone else to clean up their messes!

      • enid

        Well OHS Student, welcome to real life…where your actions have consequences. Although mommy and daddy managed to get him tried as a juvenile, I have a funny feeling this loser will screw up again and again….because he has so many people covering for him…so many people willing to look the other way. A car is a 2 ton weapon, and look what he decided to do…….. what a buddy. Do you know why so many people are being judgmental? Because when you do something so irresponsible, so stupid, you deserve to be treated like the loser you are. Keep that in mind the next time you have a drink or decide to get high, maybe it will be a learning experience for you little kids. You’ve just learned something, we all must take responsibility for our actions, and these actions are what make us who we are…… so the next time you try to stand up for your friend remember, he is now, and will forever be a murderer due to his careless idiotic actions…and there is nothing you can do to change that.

        • OHS Student

          If you really think insulting teenagers is going to fix this, think again buddy. He’s a great guy with an amazing personality, good grades, and is someone who is always doing his best to look out for his friends. Honestly, if anyone is a loser it’s you, sitting behind a computer screen arguing with an adolescent, also before you try turning this on me my comment was none of your business, I was merely defending a friend because that’s what friends do, they stand by one another even in the roughest of moments. Everyone makes mistakes and no one seems to realise that. Everyone is all ready to jump to conclusions and judge before all the facts are even known, seeing as I go to school with these people I probably know more about the situation than you do. Big whoop, he smoked marijuana… AT 1AM, the accident wasn’t until 3AM so who’s to even say he was still high at that point? He’s seventeen for crying out loud, seventeen isn’t considered an adult.

          • Derrol

            You say it wasn’t the intention of this driver to kill 3 people but he did and it’s inexcusable. You can’t explain it away by saying, “Everybody makes mistakes.” Well, not THIS kind of mistake. It’s no doubt true that the driver didn’t intend to kill anyone, much less his friends. But his friends are just as dead as if he’d pulled the trigger of a gun. Part of being a good person is to be considerate of the safety and well-being of others. Driving like that and endangering not only his own life but the lives of the passengers in the car and any other driver is a pretty selfish act. And people tend to be judged by their actions, not their intentions. That’s why when it comes time for a trial, this person’s actions will be holding all the weight. His intentions won’t account for much.
            Contrary to what you might think though, people and society don’t hate your friend. People are angry with your friend, which is a huge difference. People are sick and tired of hearing about this kind of thing. People want this kind of thing to quit happening. People also understand the grief and pain your friend is going through right now while at the same time people want him to be held accountable because of the greater pain of the families of the kids who died. And most of all people hope that everyone at OHS and especially everyone who knew the people involved will learn something from it so that it might save lives in the future.

        • David

          Your a idot. You don’t even have all the facts and are calling this kid a loser and have judged him already before he has even seen the JUDGE who does judge him. He is not a adult at 17. Do you even know why the age of a adult is considered to be 18. All your doing is judging and its people like you that make this world so shitty…. Take a look in the mirror. Sure your not perfect. Just cause you may not choose to do certain things doesn’t make you any better then anyone else. You are right in some of the things that you have said but very judgmental in a lot of ways. I know you don’t see it and I know your thinking F off… People die everyday. People don’t realize that they all made a choice to get in that car and were all probably screaming to music and not concerned with the speed what so ever. Maybe someone might have told him to slow down. Maybe not. It happens we all make choices live with it…

  • CB

    14 yr. old? Really?? Out at 3:00a, parents… pull your head up and out of the sand! Anissa too! Sounds like you feel sorry for the driver! How about the loss of life?

    • Beth

      Any human being should feel sorry for the driver. He made some bad choices, but what teenager doesn’t? He is having to grow up and learn that the consequences to our choices are not always the same. Many kids have equally irresponsible behavior and even worse and get away without causing any tragedies. This should not be the end of his life. I would feel safer driving with this kid today than most other teenagers I do agree that any adults who had knowledge of the situation could have seen the danger, but I’m not surprised that the teens didn’t.

      • James

        I made some bad choices as a teen, but none that put the lives of others in danger.
        I live near the school these kids attended and way too many times I see irresponsible
        behavior by teens in cars and trucks riding around. I wanted to take a picture of
        a kid driving with about ten kids in the bed of his pick up truck but could not do so safely.

  • charleneblake

    Toyota and Lexus are #1 in cases of sudden unintended acceleration and FORD is #2. The current unintended acceleration plaguing newer vehicles is the electronically-induced type. The engine throttle control systems depend on computer software to command them. Sometimes glitches occur…like in some of your other electronic devices…which can cause the command to be different than what you desire. The evidence of the glitch is often undetectable after the vehicle is restarted. Unfortunately, the EDR (black box) is not always accurate as shown by expert Dr. Antony Anderson in his analysis of a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The EDR results indicated the driver was not braking when she was doing so. The EDR results are inconsistent.

    The key to avoiding a horrific crash during a SUA event is whether or not the vehicle has an effective fail-safe in the event a glitch occurs. If it does not, as in the case of the glitch-prone Toyota ETCS-i, then the vehicle may become a runaway with an ineffective means to stop it. Unfortunately, the safety standards aren’t as strict in automobiles as they are in airplanes. Some manufacturers have more effective fail-safes than others. In the case of Toyota, an embedded software expert, Michael Barr (see Oklahoma Bookout vs. Toyota court case involving a 2005 Camry) found that an electronic glitch could induce a SUA event. Another expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, found that a SUA event could also be triggered by “tin whisker” formation, particularly in 2002-2006 Toyota Camry vehicles.

    SUA events have been DEADLY for vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and people in storefronts, buildings, and even homes. The numbers of such crashes are ever-increasing with the advent of the very complex ELECTRONIC throttle control systems.

    With the increase in such serious vehicle crashes, there is a concerted effort to show driver “pedal misapplication” or a “medical condition” or some other reason for the incident…anything other than a vehicle defect. Investigators aren’t scrutinizing the buggy electronic throttle control software or other conditions that can elicit a terrifying sudden unintended acceleration incident. They usually just examine the *mechanical* causes which tend to be just red herrings in these cases. Investigators simply don’t have the expertise to find such electronic glitches. In fact, the staff at the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, do not have this very specialized training!

    Think of it…the next step in electronically-controlled vehicles seems to be so-called “self-driving cars.” Do YOU want to be in a such a vehicle when there is no evidence that strict safety standards, particularly in the throttle control system’s software, have been adhered to? Will you just BLINDLY trust the automaker (criminally-investigated and nearly-prosecuted Toyota and soon-to-be GM and others?) to come through for you and your family’s safety *on its own*?

    A recently published Huffington Post article by Jonathan Handel,
    How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’
    Posted: 07/01/2014 7:23 pm EDT Updated: 07/02/2014 1:48 pm EDT speaks to these very issues and poses tough questions about Google’s “driverless” vehicles. Educate yourself carefully before you put your faith in automakers who have knowingly lied to their customers and the government for decades. Study the issue of vehicle electronic sudden unintended acceleration and ask WHY we aren’t seeing it addressed publicly. WHY is blame placed on the driver with little more than speculation about which pedal was used or with little more than an assumption on medical condition. This is being done *even when the drivers steadfastly cite a VEHICLE PROBLEM as the cause of the crash. Absence of proof is not proof of absence of a serious ELECTRONIC computer glitch or other electronically-caused SUA.

    Charlene Blake

  • charleneblake

    PR spin by automaker, law enforcement, and media in full force? Do they desperately desire the final report to say “pedal misapplication” in order to deflect from the ELECTRONICS of the computer-controlled throttle control system?

    Let’s see if the driver is hung out to dry publicly as so many have been in these crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes. Jail time for drivers has been levied with nothing more than ruling out the mechanical causes. In cases of Toyota and Lexus, inconsistent and inaccurate EDR information has been used to falsely incriminate SUA crash victims. Character assassinations in the media prior to concrete evidence presentation seem to be the norm.

    Are automakers nervous that the truth will be revealed publicly? Why are so many of the articles about such SUA events lacking in pertinent details, like make, model, and model year? Why aren’t the exact words of the driver stated? Why is there usually immediate speculation that the driver pressed the wrong pedal? These late model vehicles are *computer-controlled*. Glitches occur often. Critical safety standards aren’t strictly regulated and fail-safes have been found to be ineffective by experts in the embedded software field.

    Think about how often you reboot your electronic devices. Have you considered that an electronically-driven vehicle has many of the same “glitch” issues? Are you erroneously assuming that your safety has been ensured by the auto manufacturer? Just know, the auto industry is not regulated like the airline industry. Educate yourself on this critical safety matter.

    The Car Wash Association knows the truth about sudden unintended acceleration in late model vehicles, particularly Chryslers. A FastStop Car Wash just admitted that there is a list of the most common vehicles to suddenly accelerate. After an employee was thrown from a Ford Expedition as it careened out-of-control from a car wash and into a power box on the side of a building, this information was revealed by the media. In addition, Honda has just become the first automaker to address electronic throttle control software problems.

    Why doesn’t the public have access to the most-often-to-suddenly-accelerate vehicle list? How hard are the automakers trying to keep such information hidden? Will what you do not know ultimately put you or your family in unnecessary jeopardy? Will the PR agenda of the automakers continue to push for a “pedal misapplication” final report in these crash events?

    How long will the flawed study into Toyota and Lexus sudden unintended acceleration by NASA/NHTSA be touted as a reason to blame the vehicle owners? How often will the old Audi SUA investigation be cited by online PR trolls in an effort to justify immediate incrimination of the driver victims? More importantly, how long will the public be deceived?

    Why was Toyota whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson recently issued a subpoena by Toyota Motor Corporation? Is this an on-going effort by the automaker to silence the exposure of Toyota internal documents related to the electronic sudden unintended acceleration? Why hasn’t Ms. Benjaminson’s information been covered by the U.S. media as it has been overseas? More importantly, why hasn’t the U.S. Department of Justice made reference to this information in its recent criminal investigation of Toyota? Why have we only heard about *mechanical* causes of SUA?

    Something is amiss. Doesn’t the public deserve to know the truth? After all, electronic sudden unintended acceleration affects everyone, not just vehicle drivers. Pedestrians and storefront occupants have been killed or maimed. Even residents in homes have been impacted. SUA events are not just occurring on the highways; they are happening in parking lots and from a standstill at traffic stops, too.

    This serious problem isn’t just about elderly drivers, drivers with medical conditions, or impaired drivers as a seemingly pervasive PR effort might have you believe. This is about vehicles out-of-control because of electronic glitches and ineffective fail-safes. This is about unregulated critical safety standards in complex electronically-controlled vehicles.

    Charlene McCarthy Blake

  • mommabearto3

    This makes me sick. Parents are the problem. My mom kept me home and did not let me go to parties. I kept my kids home and they did not go to parties. What do parents think a teenager is going to do at a party??? Until they are 18 they are YOUR responsibility. The parents need to be held responsible for sure. This should NEVER happen if parents are doing their job. If a kid is 18 then it falls on them but up till then this is the parents being ignorant and letting their kids run and do what they want. So sad.

  • Morris Ryan

    Half of young drivers who died in car crashes in American states such as California, Hawaii and West Virginia were under the influence of either alcohol or marijuana, or both. This is the story told by the statistics recording fatal road accidents involving 16- to 25-year-olds in nine US states.

  • CK

    If one of my children died as the passenger of a friend, I would not want that friend locked in jail and exposed to criminal attitudes and sick minds. I would want that friend to attend rehabilitation classes, log hundreds of volunteer hours and serve the community by giving speeches at high schools and driving schools to make a difference with other young drivers. I would not want him to “get away with” anything, but to instead pay for the crime in ways that better himself and society, not in a way that throws away another young life.

    • enid

      and when this adult does it again….. how many “rehabilitation” classes should he be given? I am sick of people who want a soft approach to unspeakable crimes. You give this person a chance to kill again. I just want to know who his parents paid off to try him as juvenile….I think we are going to see this kid on charges again, because he clearly has so many people trying to cover for him.

      • OHS Student

        No one is trying to “cover up” for him, you don’t know him like his friends and family do; what happened wasn’t something he’d normally do, but you wouldn’t know that because you’ve never met him nor do you know a single fact about him. The chances of him doing this again are very small because he isn’t going to EVER forget this. And again, seventeen isn’t considered an ‘adult’ so I have no clue why you keep calling him one, he’s still considered an adolescent.

  • JF.

    Driving 30mph over the speed limit is not a mistake. Depending where you are and who you are endangering it can be a down right criminal act.

  • Carina

    You all need to shut up and stop being so negative Marcus is an amazing person and has a beautiful heart! If you dont know him then stop with all the judgments. like they said it was an accident,

  • JAMIE CLAUSS

    Thoughtful comments , I loved the details ! Does someone know if my company might grab a blank FRB 500 Form URLA PE copy to use ?