Crime

Teen charged for Key Peninsula wreck that killed her friend appears in court

Karly Parker arraigned for deadly head on in August near Purdy

Karly Ann Parker pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment for the Aug. 6 head-on crash. Her friend and passenger, 19-year-old Kaitlin Taylor, died at St. Joseph Medical Center several days after the wreck.
Up Next
Karly Ann Parker pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment for the Aug. 6 head-on crash. Her friend and passenger, 19-year-old Kaitlin Taylor, died at St. Joseph Medical Center several days after the wreck.

A 19-year-old woman accused of causing a fatal wreck near Purdy while she had drugs and alcohol in her system was arraigned Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court.

Karly Ann Parker pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment for the Aug. 6 head-on crash.

Her friend and passenger, 19-year-old Kaitlin Taylor, died at St. Joseph Medical Center several days after the wreck.

Another passenger suffered minor injuries, as did the pregnant driver of the other vehicle and her mother.

“This case involved alcohol, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), and recent cocaine use,” deputy prosecutor Tim Jones told Judge Shelly Speir at the arraignment.

Test results showed Parker had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 after the wreck, above the legal limit of 0.08, according to court records.

Troopers said Parker, Taylor and another friend had left a grocery store and were headed to a park when Parker drifted into an oncoming lane on a curve and hit the other vehicle on state Route 302, near Emerald Drive Northwest.

Charging papers filed Dec. 14 said troopers found a couple nearly empty tequila bottles in Parker’s vehicle and a water bottle containing alcohol in bushes nearby — where witnesses said they’d seen someone throw something.

On Thursday, Jones said he wasn’t opposed to Parker’s continued release on her own recognizance, but he suggested conditions that she not be allowed to have alcohol or non-prescribed drugs and that she undergo alcohol monitoring.

Judge Speir agreed to that.

“It appears that she’s been in treatment, and it appears that she does have some strong ties to the community,” Speir said.

Defense attorney Michael Stewart told the court Parker is not a flight risk or a danger to the community and that she’s already enrolled in alcohol monitoring via an ankle bracelet.

Her driver’s license was suspended, and Stewart said she declined to take a retest to regain it.

Parker’s family was in court, and supporters also wrote the court letters that described her as a caring preschool teacher, who was very involved at her Tacoma high school prior to her graduation in 2016.

“The Parker family is saddened and devastated by the loss of Kaitlin Taylor and the other injuries that occurred,” Stewart said outside court.

Taylor’s obituary described her as an aspiring pediatric dentist, who loved California and was involved with her family’s church.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

  Comments