FOND DU LAC - A Campellsport High School student will face charges in the crash that killed three of her teenaged friends. Carly Ottery, 18, was charged Wednesday with three counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.
A memorial stands at the site of the Feb. 4 crash that took the lives of Campellsport High School students Sabrina Stahl, Katie Berg and Caitlin Scannell.
Now the teens' friend, Carly Ottery, is charged in their deaths.
Winnebago County District Attorney Christian Gossett told FOX 11 it took time to decide on the charges.
"We wanted to make sure we had all of the information and reviewed it carefully," said Gossett.
According to Gossett, the crash, which happened on Beechnut Drive outside of Campbellsport, rocked the small community.
"The (State Crime Lab) was very gracious and expedited the matter because of the gravity of the case and the impact in had on that community. The Fond du Lac Sheriff's Department expedited getting reconstruction done," said Gossett.
Winnebago County prosecutors are handling the case because of a conflict of interest in the Fond du Lac County District Attorney's Office.
According to that crash reconstruction, Ottery was driving more than 100 miles per hour in her Chevy Tahoe. The criminal complaint says eight other girls were in the vehicle, some without seat belts. During the investigation, Ottery told deputies she was "driving fast because it was cool." The complaint says she lost control of the SUV at that high speed.
Now she faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
"Even without criminal prosecution it's tragic. At the end of the day, people lost their children, three children lost their lives. Ms. Ottery was the operator of the vehicle, so she has to be held responsible for her actions to a certain extent," said Gossett.
But Gossett said the community, even the victims' parents have sympathy for Ottery. The girls were all close; they played soccer together. A soccer ball sits at the memorial.
"The families knew each other, so certainly there's a lot of compassion for Ms. Ottery out there," said Gossett.
In the criminal complaint, Ottery is quoted saying she remembers everything that happened in the crash and "probably will forever."
Ottery is scheduled to make her first court appearance on June 19.
FOX 11 could not reach either Ottery or her parents for comment. We also tried reaching out to the families of Scannell or Stahl. Katie Berg's family did not wish to comment.
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