A woman involved in a fatal DUII crash last year has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison.
According to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, Talita Weltzien pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving under the influence of intoxicants and second-degree manslaughter.
She was sentenced to 110 months of prison time.
Weltzien was arrested on July 24, 2019 following a deadly crash on Highway 6.
The district attorney’s office said she had spent the day at a swimming area near Tillamook and witnesses said she had been drinking heavily and using marijuana.
Her friends made sure she did not drive them home. However, she ended up driving even though they tried to stop her.
The district attorney’s office said the group attempted to catch up to Weltzien, but she drove at nearly 80 miles per hour.
Several people called 911 to report her reckless driving as she headed eastbound on Highway 6 to Banks.
The DA’s office said Weltzien approached a work zone in which traffic was reduced to one lane and she slammed into the back of a semi-truck that had stopped.
Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Shell, a passenger in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigations by Oregon State Police revealed that Weltzien was driving at 106 miles per hour a few seconds before the collision. Investigators did not see any skid marks at the scene and their absence indicates that she did not try to stop.
Investigators also found that Weltzien turned the steering wheel abruptly to the left seconds prior to the crash. This resulted in the passenger side of the vehicle colliding with the back of the semi-truck.
Weltzien did not suffer any injuries and she was able to get out of her vehicle.
Officials said Weltzien showed signs of impairment and she confessed to drinking alcohol throughout the day.
Her blood alcohol concentration was .24 percent – three times the legal limit.
If you have been accused of driving under the influence of intoxicants, contact a DUI lawyer in Portland, Oregon.