Pot in Vehicle: Rochester Driver Charged in Death of Centralia Teen Pleads Not Guilty

By Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com

Deputies investigating a May 17 crash in Grand Mound that killed 18-year-old Centralia resident Cheyllyn R. Collinsworth discovered a “significant amount” of marijuana in the suspect’s vehicle at the time of the crash, court documents show. 

Donald D. Siegler, 25, was charged July 25 with vehicular homicide in the crash that killed the teen shortly before she was set to graduate as a top student at Centralia High School. 

He entered a plea of not guilty last week in Thurston County Superior Court, according to court documents. 

Siegler’s trial is currently scheduled to start Sept. 25.

According to a probable cause statement in Siegler’s court file, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded just after midnight May 18 to a report of a serious head-on collision with entrapment on Old Highway 99 in Grand Mound. 

A deputy reported seeing Siegler awake and sitting in the driver’s seat of a Ford Focus. His eyes were open, but he was reportedly “staring blankly” and didn’t immediately respond to officers. In a second vehicle, a Kia Spectra, Collinsworth was unconscious. 

Deputies determined her condition was more serious and began to evaluate her. Her legs were “pinned in the vehicle below the knee by damage to the vehicle,” according to court documents. She was not responsive to deputies. When medics arrived and began working to extricate Collinsworth, the deputy moved on to talk with Siegler. 

Siegler reportedly told deputies he smoked marijuana after work, but deputies were not able to determine when that was, due to Siegler’s level of consciousness at the time. 

However, one deputy noted “a significant amount of marijuana strewn about the passenger compartment of the vehicle,” according to court documents.

Witnesses at the scene reported seeing Siegler’s Ford’s headlights cross over the centerline before the crash. One driver reported he swerved to avoid the Focus, then looked into his rear-view mirror to discover it had hit Collinsworth’s Kia.

Collinsworth was extricated but died before she could be airlifted to a trauma center, according to court documents. 

Siegler was transported to a hospital and a warrant was issued for his blood. On July 19, toxicology reports showed a THC level of 6.5 ng/mL in his blood. The legal limit for THC while driving in Washington is 5.0 ng/mL of active THC.