THURSTON COUNTY—A 17-year-old from Centralia died early Sunday morning when an SUV full of teens veered off the road and hit several trees in Capitol Forest. The teen driver of the SUV is suspected of driving drunk and has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, a Washington State Patrol trooper said.
Michael A. Conine was killed in the crash around 2:30 a.m. along the D-Line road, two miles west of Bordeaux Road.
Conine was one of three passengers in a 1989 Ford Bronco driven by 17-year-old Devin J. Faulconer, of Rochester, said WSP Trooper Brandy Kessler. Faulconer was treated at the scene for minor injuries and then booked into Thurston County's juvenile detention center.
The two other passengers in the Bronco, 17-year-olds Richard Strauss and Blake A. Markva, both of Rochester, were treated at the scene for minor and serious injuries.
Troopers are using the tragedy as an opportunity to warn young people about the potentially dangerous effects of underage drinking.
"With homecoming season in full swing this is a devastating reminder for teens to not drink and drive," Kessler said.
Troopers warn that teens caught drinking and driving will be arrested for both driving under the influence and being a minor in possession of alcohol.