A Thurston teen died in a crash in March. Driver arrested for vehicular homicide

Update: Following this Tuesday announcement, The Olympian has learned the Rainier man appeared in court Friday and has been released with conditions.

An 18-year-old Rainier man was arrested last week on suspicion of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and driving under the influence, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

He was involved in a two-car injury collision that killed Jessie C. Uch, his 17-year-old female passenger and a Rainier High School student.

The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab found the man had 4.7 ng/mL of THC, the major psychoactive component of cannabis, in his blood at the time of the incident. The legal limit for those under 21 is 0 ng/mL. No alcohol was found in the man’s blood, despite witness statements at the scene.

The collision took place at about 5:45 p.m. on March 4. The 18-year-old driver was northbound on the 13800 block of Rainier Road SE when he lost control of the vehicle. He crossed into the southbound lane and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.

The 24-year-old Rainier woman driving the southbound vehicle and the 18-year-old man were both injured at the scene.

According to a news release, TCSO’s jail cannot provide substantial medical care and the office shoulders the medical costs of those taken into custody. These factors influenced deputies not to make an arrest on scene, despite probable cause, according to the release.

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