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Sheriff’s Office recommends vehicular homicide charges against U-Hi student

Wed., Nov. 13, 2013, 9:30 a.m.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday it is seeking charges of vehicular homicide in a Spokane Valley crash that killed two University High School students last month.

Spokane County prosecutors will have the final say whether Preston Maher, 16, will appear in court on the charges. Maher has been identified as the driver of a car that crashed into a tree Oct. 5 near South Bates Road and East Ponderosa, killing Josie Freier, 15, and McKenzie Mott, 16. Court documents indicate Maher may have been traveling at a high rate of speed to send the car airborne when it left the roadway.

Maher was treated for injuries and released from the hospital later in October. He is not currently in custody.

The felony charge of vehicular homicide carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for offenders convicted as adults, though that kind of sentence would be unlikely for someone without an extensive prior criminal record.

This story is developing and more information will be added as it is available.

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