SOUTH THOMASTON — A 19-year-old South Thomaston woman has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a car crash that resulted in the death of St. George man last year.

Kelsey R. Campbell was arrested Tuesday and charged with manslaughter, aggravated criminal operating under the influence, and operating beyond license condition or restriction, in the crash that killed one of her passengers, Zachary Elwell, 21.

Campbell was arrested on a warrant obtained by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. An affidavit filed in Knox County Unified Court by Detective Justin Twitchell detailed the evidence leading to the charges.

The affidavit said Campbell had a blood alcohol level of 0.21 – more than twice the legal driving limit.

Two witnesses reported that on the evening of May 25, 2017, a 2004 Subaru Outback passed them on Route 131 in South Thomaston at a high rate of speed. One of the witnesses estimated the vehicle was traveling 85 mph in a 50 mph zone.

That witness said that after the vehicle passed him, he saw smoke and came upon the crash.

Another motorist said she saw a woman driving the car involved in the crash, and saw her laughing as the vehicle passed the witness at a high rate of speed.

Police said the vehicle went off the road, struck a rock wall, several trees and landed on its roof. Elwell was thrown from the vehicle and died of head trauma.

Campbell told officers that Elwell had jumped from the rear passenger seat to the front passenger seat, but she does not recall if he hit the steering wheel or distracted her just before the crash.

In another affidavit filed last year to obtain a search warrant for the vehicle, Knox County Deputy Paul Pinkham reported he smelled an odor of liquor on Campbell’s breath when he talked with her after the crash.

Campbell admitted to Pinkham that she had consumed three shots of a vodka/cranberry juice mix that she had made, the affidavit states.

“Campbell had made the comment to him regarding she has driven a lot drunker than this and never had a problem,” the affidavit said.

Campbell and another passenger, Austin Jurkowski, 19, of St. George, were taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport with minor injuries.

Campbell was being held at the Knox County Jail in Rockland.

During her initial court hearing Wednesday, Judge Susan Sparaco set bail at $2,500 cash. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald had requested bail be set at $25,000 cash or $250,000 in property. Defense attorney Laura Shaw asked for the lower bail, pointing out that her client has no criminal record and has been in the community in the eight months since the crash with no problems. Campbell also is being represented by attorney Christopher MacLean of Camden.

Sparaco agreed to a request from the prosecution that Campbell have no contact with Elwell’s parents, Jurkowski or the two witnesses. She also will be required to enter into an agreement with Maine Pre-Trial Services and be prohibited from using alcohol or illegal drugs. The judge said she would be allowed to use marijuana because she has a medical marijuana card.

Campbell works as a sternwoman on a fishing boat and takes classes at the University of Maine in Rockland.

After the bail hearing, Shaw said Campbell maintains her innocence.

Campbell entered no plea because two of the charges are felonies and the case has yet to be presented to a grand jury.

The maximum potential sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in prison.

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