Two teenagers involved in a crash that killed a 19-year-old Spokane woman in February should face vehicular homicide charges, detectives have concluded in an investigative recommendation sent to prosecutors Monday.
Investigators believe Brooke A. Reese, 18, of Spokane, and Taylor D. Marean, 18, were racing when their cars collided on southbound Hatch Road near 54th Avenue after leaving a party early Feb. 14. A passenger, Jacoby N. Bryant, 19, died at the scene.
Bryant was in the passenger seat of Reese’s 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, which struck a tree after colliding with Marean’s 2005 BMW about 2:24 a.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Detective Dave Thornburg sent his investigation to prosecutors on Monday.
“It stands out just because it involves just a bunch of youth – young teenagers – making a bad choice,” Thornburg said. “Ultimately, they’ve affected a lot of lives.”
Bryant, a 2009 graduate of Lewis and Clark High, was a student at Eastern Washington University.
Reese reportedly admitted to drinking four shots of vodka at a party before the deadly crash, according to a search warrant. She faces a possible drug possession charge after detectives found meth in her purse in the Grand Am.
Thornburg’s recommendation also includes two counts of minor in possession/consumption of alcohol against Reese and Marean.
Reese and Marean could not be reached for comment, and it was not immediately clear if they had lawyers.
Reese told investigators she was driving “too fast” when she tried to make a left turn on 54th Avenue and was struck by the BMW, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
She called her decision to race Marean “the worst decision of my life,” according to court documents.
“His car was faster, faster than I would have ever thought,” Reese reportedly said.
Thornburg said teens were driving at least 51 miles per hour. “That’s a bare minimum,” he said.
Reese was treated and released from a hospital. Neither Marean nor his passenger, Ryan Perrizo, 19, were injured.
Marean, who Reese said had been drinking “a lot,” refused to talk to investigators.
Three factors can lead to vehicular homicide charges: impairment from drugs or alcohol, recklessness, and driving with a disregard for the safety of others.
“There’s a couple prongs met in this case,” Thornburg said. He declined to detail the toxicology reports but said they contributed to probable cause.
He called Reese and Marean “good kids who just made a horrible decision.”