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Student charged in November fatal crash

December 27, 2018

When the 2008 Chevy Malibu crossed the double yellow line going west on Wayne Trace around 3:15 p.m. Nov. 2, its speed was 93 mph as measured by an airbag control module.

That was three seconds before the car swerved to avoid hitting a white box truck going east in the eastbound lane. The Malibu, driven by Na Lay, 18, of the 2100 block of Carterton Drive, crashed into the box truck, flipped several times and landed under a large pine tree, according to court documents.

Lay was charged Wednesday with five counts of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon. There is a warrant for his arrest.

One of the five passengers in Lay’s car, Ar Si Za La, was killed in the crash, court documents said. Another person was critically wounded and others had minor injuries.

A witness told police the Malibu was traveling at high speed alongside a green Honda. Police said the Honda was driven by a fellow Heritage High School classmate. All witnesses said the two cars appeared to be racing, court documents said.

The Honda’s driver said he and Lay had been speeding on Monroeville Road and Wayne Trace earlier that day, but denied speeding when the crash occurred.

Lay told police he was being “brake-checked” by the Honda and was concerned about rear-ending the green car because his insurance only covered liability. He said when he saw the white box truck he tried to merge back into the right lane but the Honda had accelerated and blocked his path. He veered left, but the box truck had veered right and they collided, he said. 

jduffy@jg.net

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