Teen charged with vehicular manslaughter in Buckley rollover crash

A young woman was charged March 30 for her role in a Buckley automobile accident that left one person dead and two injured.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Kaitlin Rose Baumgartner, 18, with one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. Her arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

She was 17 at the time of the Aug. 29, 2009, crash.

Baumgartner was not in the vehicle that rolled and resulted in the death of Derrick Laiblin, 21, but prosecutors maintain she was a willing accomplice whose actions contributed to the crash.

According to charging papers, Baumgartner was traveling east on Sumner-Buckley Highway, just ahead of a full-size pickup driven by her boyfriend, Enumclaw resident Jacob Lee. Lee was reportedly speeding when he attempted to pass Baumgartner on a corner. It appears one of Lee’s rear tires blew and he lost control; the vehicle rolled into nearby trees. Laiblin was thrown from the pickup and killed; two other passengers suffered broken arms and internal injuries.

According to court documents, the passengers said Lee and Baumgartner were engaged in a game of “cat and mouse.” One passenger told authorities Lee had attempted to pass Baumgartner three times, but each time she would accelerate to keep from being overtaken.

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