By Patti Weaver


    (Stillwater, Okla.) — A teenager accused of driving left of center a GMC SUV while under the influence of marijuana compounds has been charged with three counts of first-degree manslaughter in a fiery crash with a Hyundai sedan on Highway 33 near Cottonwood Road six miles west of Perkins that took the lives of three passengers, ages 4, 7, and 19, at 10:48 pm on April 10, 2021.
    The defendant, Lillian Caroline Smith, 19, of Del City, has not yet been arraigned on the three-count charge filed in Payne County District Court last week when a warrant was issued for her arrest. Each count of first-degree manslaughter carries a prison term of four years to life on conviction.
    Smith was driving a 2002 red GMC Envoy SUV eastbound on Highway 33, and her boyfriend, Braden O’Rourke, 19, of Oklahoma City, was in the front passenger seat, according to an affidavit by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Wallace.
    “The GMC traveled off the roadway, into the outside shoulder, and contacted the rumble strip. Smith over-corrected to the left, began to rotate counterclockwise, traveled across the eastbound lane, crossed the centerline, and entered the opposing westbound lane.
    “A silver 2018 Hyundai Elantra was traveling westbound. The red GMC was out of control and in a broad slide as it entered the path of the Hyundai. The Hyundai impacted the passenger side of the GMC near the area of the ‘b’ and ‘c’ pillars. The GMC departed the roadway to the north, and overturned one-quarter time, onto its driver side,” the affidavit alleged.
    The Hyundai was driven by Justin Ramski, 21, of Oklahoma City, who had four passengers — his girlfriend, Jasmyne Owze, 20, of Guthrie, and her three children, ages 3, 4, and 7, an OHP report said.
    “The Hyundai rotated clockwise and came to rest in the roadway facing north. Bystanders came upon the scene and assisted in extricating Ramski, Owze, and the children from the Hyundai. Soon thereafter, the Hyundai caught fire and burnt completely,” the affidavit said.
    Two of the children, ages 4 and 7, were pronounced dead at the scene, the affidavit said. The youngest child, 3, and Ramski were transported by LifeNet to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, the affidavit said.
    “Members of the Perkins and Coyle Fire Departments responded to the scene, extinguished the fire, extricated Smith and O’Rourke from the GMC, but O’Rourke was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith and Owze were transported by medical helicopter to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, the affidavit said.
    “Trooper Shayne Ballard traveled to the hospital, spoke with the two drivers, Smith and Ramski, and asked if they would consent to a blood draw to search for intoxicants. Both drivers provided their consent and blood sample,” the affidavit alleged.
    “OSBI toxicology testing found Smith’s blood samples contained 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Hydroxy-THC), 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA), and Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), and Ramski’s blood sample contained 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA) and Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC),” as well as Fentanyl that Ramski had been given by EMS while enroute to the hospital, the affidavit alleged.
    On April 13, 2021, OHP Troopers Matt Stacy and Matthew Ledbetter traveled to a towing-recovery business where they photographed the burnt 2018 Hyundai Elantra, the affidavit said. With a search warrant for the GMC, the troopers “located and seized marijuana and marijuana smoking products,” the affidavit alleged.
    Trooper Wallace “attempted to speak with Smith after her recovery and release from the hospital. Smith’s mother informed (Trooper) Wallace that Smith did not recall the events of the collision and that she did not want her daughter to answer any questions,” the affidavit alleged.
    “While driving on an Oklahoma state highway, Smith failed to maintain her lane and control of her vehicle. Smith crossed the centerline, entered the opposing lane of traffic in the direct path of the oncoming Hyundai.
    “This resulted in the death of one adult, Braden O’Rourke, and two small children,” ages 4 and 7, the affidavit alleged.
    “At the time of the collision, Smith had THC and other marijuana compounds in her blood as well as marijuana in her possession,” the affidavit alleged.
    A total of 32 witnesses have been listed for the prosecution including Perkins Fire Chief Joseph Barta, Payne County Sheriff Joe Harper, OU Medical Center staff, the state Medical Examiner and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.