Firefighters transported one patient with life-threatening injuries after a single-vehicle fatality crash in the area of Lager Lane and Turk Road shortly after 7:30 a.m. on March 29. (Marysville Fire District)

Firefighters transported one patient with life-threatening injuries after a single-vehicle fatality crash in the area of Lager Lane and Turk Road shortly after 7:30 a.m. on March 29. (Marysville Fire District)

Tulalip teen charged with driving high in fatal crash

Daisha Smith-Spencer was ejected from the bed of a truck that her friend was reportedly driving in March. She was 20.

TULALIP — The day before her 18th birthday, a Tulalip teen was charged with vehicular homicide and hit-and-run in a fatal March crash.

She will face the criminal counts as a juvenile.

On the night of March 28, a group of friends hung out near Hermosa Point on the Tulalip Reservation, according to the charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court. They sat in the truck and drank tequila until the sun came up. A couple of them smoked marijuana, too. After that, they went to Starbucks in Marysville to get breakfast in a black Dodge Ram.

Just before 7:40 a.m., Daisha Smith-Spencer was riding in the bed of the pickup when it crashed into a utility pole near Lager Lane and Turk Drive, according to Tulalip Tribal Police. In the second before the crash, the truck was going about 80 mph, vehicle data reportedly showed.

Smith-Spencer was ejected from the truck, as was another person in the bed, according to police. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Smith-Spencer’s injuries could have been from directly hiting the utility pole. She died at the scene. She was 20.

The other passenger was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, the charges say.

Witnesses reported the Ram driving erratically prior to the crash. One woman told police she was driving west on Turk Road when she saw the Dodge Ram, according to court papers. It nearly crashed into her car. She reported two passengers riding in the bed of the truck who were “flopping around.”

The woman turned around to follow the truck. As she tried to catch up, she found the crash scene.

Another witness reportedly recognized Smith-Spencer as one of the two in the truck’s bed. He described the truck taking a sharp right turn and Smith-Spencer almost falling out. The other person in the bed had to pull on her shirt to stop her from falling.

The man also recognized the Ram. It was a graduation gift to the suspect from her grandfather, he told police.

After the crash, the alleged driver walked away, toward the Mission Highlands neighborhood, a passenger reported. Around 8 a.m., she reportedly arrived at a home she knew, less than a half-mile mile from the crash scene.

The woman there told police the suspect was pounding on her door. When she answered, Tulalip police cars were flying by. The girl, then 17, asked to use the bathroom. The woman told investigators the teen appeared drunk, according to the charges.

The 17-year-old told the woman she’d been partying at a house up the street. She stayed at the woman’s house for about half an hour, according to court documents. Then Smith-Spencer’s sister arrived to tell the woman that Smith-Spencer had died in a crash.

The 17-year-old reportedly acted like she didn’t know about the crash. She was then picked up by an unknown person and left, the woman reported.

Around 9 a.m. that morning, police found the alleged driver at her grandfather’s house. She was taken to the hospital, where her blood was drawn that afternooon after a search warrant was approved. The test found her blood-alcohol content eight hours after the crash was 0.03, below the legal limit. However, her blood also had 9.2 nanograms of active THC per milliliter, almost two times the legal limit for cannabis.

She was booked into the Denney Juvenile Justice Center, but has posted bail. Prosecutors charged her with vehicular homicide while under the influence and a hit-and-run fatality as a juvenile.

The suspect’s public defender Emily Hiskes declined to comment.

An obituary noted Smith-Spencer was “one of a kind.” She spent all of her life on the Tulalip Reservation.

“She lit up every room she walked into with her beautiful Smile,” it reads. “Her laugh was so contagious you couldn’t help but laugh with her.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439;; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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