A car carrying three teenage girls flew over a hill in Bonney Lake at more than three times the speed limit, lost control and slammed into a warning sign before striking a tree.
Mackenzie Rae Martin, 18, was killed in the Sept. 11 crash, just months after she graduated from Sumner High School.
On Tuesday, Pierce County prosecutors charged her friend, McKenzie Krakow, with vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment. The 19-year-old is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 3.
Krakow suffered minor injuries in the crash. A 16-year-old girl in the back seat suffered a laceration to her foot and bruises to her hip and neck.
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They were both wearing seat belts. Martin, who was in the front passenger seat, was not.
The teens were traveling east on 160th Street East in a 2016 Kia Forte when they went over a hill and flew nearly 150 feet before careening out of control and hitting the sign and tree near 186th Avenue East, according to charging papers.
Martin was thrown from the car and pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators do not believe the teens were impaired.
Krakow initially told deputies she thought she was going 40 mph before the crash. The teen in the back seat said “she did not know the mph but it was very fast because when they came over the hill, they were airborne,” records show.
The speed limit in that area is 25 mph.
Data from an airbag module shows the Kia accelerated from 63 mph to 80 mph seconds before the airbags deployed.
After the crash, Martin’s family made a public plea for people to buckle up and slow down.
“Five minutes of joy is not worth 70 years of living without her,” her sister Tara Shoemaker told the Sumner News Index in September.
Martin wanted to be a nurse and loved pandas, wiener dogs, scary movies, Red Bull and the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy,” according to her obituary.
“We will all remember her love for music and singing along with just about every song, photography, cooking, baking, going on adventures and spending time with her beloved friends and family,” it read.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653