Two sentenced for car crash that killed 3
The Oak Harbor women were both steering an SUV before it crashed, killing three people.
Prosecutors alleged that Jordyn Weichert and Samantha Bowling both were steering a Chevrolet Blazer on Sept. 3 when they lost control and slammed into an oncoming station wagon on Highway 20.
The crash killed the station wagon's driver, Brian Wood of Vancouver, B.C., and injured his pregnant wife. Also killed in the crash were Francis Malloy and Jacob Quistorf, both backseat passengers in Weichert's sport utility vehicle.
A judge Friday sentenced Weichert to eight years in prison. Bowling was sentenced to five years behind bars.
A jury last month convicted Weichert of multiple felony charges. Her sentence was about six months shy of the maximum established by the state's sentencing guidelines commission.
Bowling pleaded guilty in April to three counts of vehicular homicide and, in an unrelated case, to one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss a vehicular assault charge as part of the plea. Bowling agreed to a sentence above the standard range. She also agreed to testify during Weichert's trial.
Weichert, then 20, allegedly told Washington State Patrol troopers she was driving when she decided to remove her sweater. She asked Bowling, 22, to steer. Weichert said that Bowling let go before Weichert put her hands back on the steering wheel. The Blazer began to drift off the road and both women grabbed the steering wheel and jerked it to the left. The Blazer crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with the Woods' station wagon.
Erin Wood later reported that in the moments before the crash her husband slammed on the brakes and jerked the wheel to the right to avoid a head-on crash. He likely saved his wife's life and that of his unborn daughter.
Erin Wood has since given birth to the couple's only child. She spoke at Friday's emotional hearing.
She told the judge, "The first thought when I wake up in the morning is 'he's gone,' and the last thought before I fall asleep is the same," according to The Herald's news partner KIRO 7.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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