BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man won't face criminal charges after his teenage stepdaughter was killed in a crash on her way to get her driver's license, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Inna Sergeyevna Reva, 17, drove a dark green 2000 Hyundai Elantra west on Van Wyck Road on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21, en route to the Department of Licensing.
In Washington state, drivers with a learner's permit must be accompanied by an adult with a valid license. So her stepfather, Leonid Petrovich Shintar, 42, sat in the front passenger's seat.
Reva stopped the car at the two-way intersection with Hannegan Road around 10 a.m. Then she pulled forward into the path of a northbound Mitsubishi Montero, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis. The Mitsubishi plowed into the driver's side of the Hyundai, killing Reva, a Squalicum High School student. Troopers don't know why Reva thought she could go.
"She's the only one who can answer that, and obviously she can't answer now," Francis said.
Troopers initially declined to say if Shintar, as the adult in the car, would face charges. An investigation showed Reva wasn't wearing her seatbelt, but state law says people 16 and older are responsible for buckling themselves in.
Shintar won't face any charges, Francis said on Monday, Sept. 30. Shintar wasn't wearing a seatbelt either, and he suffered injuries to his head and torso.
The driver of the Montero, a 27-year-old woman from Bellingham, had the right of way and won't be charged. She wasn't hurt.