Woman gets nearly 10 years for role in deadly crash

Crime

Talita Weltzien crashed into a semi, killing the passenger in her car

Talita Weltzien pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants March 11, 2020 (Wash. Co. District Attorney’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The teen driver behind a 2019 fatal crash near Banks was sentenced Tuesday to 110 months in prison.

Talita Weltzien, who was 19 at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Police said Weltzien had been drinking heavily and using marijuana all day at a swimming area near Tillamook on July 24, 2019. Despite objections made by her friends, she and another girl drove off in a sedan following the conclusion of gathering.

Weltzien reached speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour while on Highway 6 headed towards Banks. Several witnesses called 911 to report her erratic driving.

Investigators said Weltzien reached 106 miles per hour when she ultimately crashed into the back of the semi-truck. With no skid marks at the scene, Weltzien made no attempt to stop before the collision. Seconds before the crash, she abruptly turned the steering wheel to the left, which caused the passenger side of the car to collide with the back of the semi-truck. The victim was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, an area that was completely destroyed in the crash.

The passenger was identified as 19-year-old Elizabeth Shell of Hillsboro who died at the scene.

Weltzien had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.24% at the time of the crash.

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