Island teen to be arraigned for fatal crash
Kelly McCarron of Edgartown is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Edgartown District Court on three vehicular homicide charges in connection with a June 11 single car accident in West Tisbury that resulted in the death of her passenger and friend Jena Pothier, 18, of Oak Bluffs.
Ms. McCarron, who graduated from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School on June 14, faces a felony charge of vehicular homicide based on operating under the influence of alcohol, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
The charge carries a minimum sentence of 2.5 years of incarceration. The maximum penalty is 15 years in state prison.
A conviction also carries a 15-year suspension of a driver's license. A conviction for vehicular homicide without the aggravating condition of operating under the influence provides a sentence of 30 days to 2.5 years of incarceration.
Ms. McCarron will also be arraigned on two additional vehicular homicide charges, as well as a series of motor vehicle infractions.
In the days following the accident, West Tisbury police issued 12 motor vehicle citations to Ms. McCarron, including speeding, and passing in a no passing zone.
The accident stunned the Island community and cast a pall over the high school graduation ceremony three days later.
About 10 pm Thursday night Ms. McCarron and Ms. Pothier, a 2008 regional high school graduate, were traveling along Edgartown-West Tisbury Road approximately one mile west of the entrance to Martha's Vineyard Airport when Ms. McCarron attempted to pass another vehicle and crashed.
When police arrived Ms. McCarron, who police said was not wearing a seatbelt, was lying near the shoulder of the road. Ms. Pothier, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pinned in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
Ms. Pothier, who had just completed her freshman year at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, was pronounced dead at Martha's Vineyard Hospital late that night. Ms. McCarron was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries.
Ms. McCarron has returned to Martha's Vineyard, and is recovering well, her grandmother Anne McCarron told The Times in a telephone conversation Tuesday.
Police chief silent
West Tisbury police chief Beth Toomey said shortly after beginning her investigation in June that firsthand accounts indicated speed was a major factor in the accident.
Eyewitnesses said Ms. McCarron had passed a car in a no passing zone and there was another car oncoming. Both vehicles managed to avoid the accident, but the drivers saw what happened.
The state police accident reconstruction team was called to the Island to investigate, and toxicology tests were ordered to determine if Ms. McCarron was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident Chief Toomey said she was attempting to piece together the girls' movements prior to the accident and determine who provided Ms. McCarron with alcohol.
Chief Toomey did not return phone calls from The Times this week requesting an update on the investigation.
Attorney Charles Morano of Edgartown represents Ms. McCarron. Mr. Morano did not return a telephone message seeking comment.