Nez Perce County prosecutors charged a 32-year-old Lewiston woman with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence Thursday for allegedly causing a fatal Normal Hill crash last year while methamphetamine was in her system.
A probable cause affidavit from Lewiston police said an analysis of the airbag control unit in Jayne G. Carr’s blue 2007 Pontiac G6 showed the vehicle was traveling at 96 mph while she was westbound on Ninth Avenue on the morning of Nov. 2. The speed limit on Ninth Avenue is 25 mph. Carr allegedly failed to yield at the stop sign at Eighth Street and struck a northbound silver 2015 Honda Civic driven by Peck resident Linda Dupuis, 60, who died in the violent collision.
“The force of this impact pushed the Honda across the turn lane, across the southbound lane, over the curb, (and) across a grassy area where it struck a tree,” said the affidavit, which was written by Sgt. Craig Roberts. “After striking the tree, the Honda continued in a westerly direction before coming to rest. The Pontiac, after striking the Honda, continued west, past the final resting spot of the Honda and struck an unoccupied legally parked car with enough force to push it forward into another unoccupied legally parked car.”
Medics took Carr to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, and police were initially unable to interview her about the incident. But a lab analysis of Carr’s blood taken just after the collision was allegedly positive for methamphetamine, according to the affidavit.
Three witnesses reportedly told police that Carr failed to yield at the stop sign and hit Dupuis at a high rate of speed. Police were also able to locate video footage that recorded the collision, according to the affidavit.
Carr was booked into the Nez Perce County jail Wednesday afternoon after she was released from a second stay in the hospital. She made an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Michelle Evans on Thursday on the felony vehicular manslaughter charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Deputy Prosecutor Nathaniel Rupp requested a $250,000 bond for Carr based on the danger posed to the community by the allegations of her high rate of speed and methamphetamine intoxication. Limited public defender Travis Hartshorn argued for Carr’s release on her own recognizance based on her need for continued physical therapy and her ties to the community.
According to Hartshorn, Carr is unemployed and has been in either the hospital or in rehabilitation since the crash. She suffered several broken bones and needs assistance for simple acts like lying down, bathing and using the restroom. She is also unable to drive so she poses no risk to the community, he said, and has several upcoming doctor appointments. But Evans decided to set bond at $75,000 because of the serious nature of the felony charge.
Evans appointed the firm of Lewiston attorney Rick Cuddihy to represent Carr and set a Jan. 26 preliminary hearing in the case.
Mills may be contacted at email@example.com.