Trial of woman accused of causing two deaths begins

SOUTH PARIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's a case that put a spotlight on teen drivers and resulted in changes to the state's driving laws for young people.

Today the young woman at the center of that case went on trial. Investigators say Kristina Lowe was behind the wheel when her car went off the road and slammed into some trees. Two of her passengers, 16-year-old Rebecca Mason and 18-year-old Logan Dam, were killed.

Kristina Lowe was 18 at the time of the crash, she is now 21. Lowe is facing a total of five charges including manslaughter, aggravated criminal OUI, and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

The prosecutor told jurors Lowe was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He said she had alcohol and traces of marijuana in her system. He also told jurors Investigators found she used excessive speed and she was distracted reaching for her cell phone.

"That momentary distraction, along with everything else, the speed, the alcohol, the trace of metabolites of marijuana. All those circumstances came together," Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said.

Lowe's attorney says his client's blood alcohol level was point-oh-four, showing she was not intoxicated. He told jurors none of the investigators saw signs of intoxication that night.

"Not a single cop in this case is going to testify to any of that. In fact some of the cops are going to say she was speaking completely clearly," attorney Jim Howaniec said.

Jurors will be hearing about the facts and evidence for the next four or five days. That is how long this trial is expected to last.


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