A 20-year-old Methuen woman was driving 107 mph and was drunk when her car crashed, killing her friend who was a passenger, according to state police records.
At her arraignment last week in Haverhill District Court, Emily McGovern faced charges connected to the crash, which happened on Interstate 495 in Haverhill.
Investigators said McGovern was driving a 2004 Lincoln LS sedan on the afternoon of March 31, 2018, when the car flipped onto its hood on the shoulder of I-495 north.
Alexis Spartz, 18, of Methuen, a passenger in the car, was killed.
At last Friday's arraignment, prosecutor Calvin Skeirik read report about the crash written by state police that said the car driven by McGovern was traveling 107 mph before the crash, according to the car's data recorder. Blood tests showed McGovern had a blood alcohol level of .196, according to the police report. The legal blood alcohol limit for people under 21 is .02. For people over 21, the limit is .08.
Skeirik said a witness told police that just before the crash, the vehicle driven by McGovern sped past the witness' vehicle and that another vehicle also sped past.
McGovern is charged with manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide OUI, negligent driving, a marked lanes violation and speeding. The charges were brought by police May 14.
At Friday's arraignment, Judge Stephen Abany released McGovern without bail and ordered that she have regular drug and alcohol screenings and not drive.
McGovern's case will eventually move to Salem Superior Court.
The crash scene was chaotic, state police said, causing confusion about who was driving the car.
Initial reports said that Spartz was behind the wheel, but within a couple days, state police issued a retraction that said another young person was driving. They did not name McGovern at that time.
Members of Spartz's family have spent the last year mourning her death and anticipating charges against the driver, they said before the anniversary of the crash. Spartz was a 2017 Methuen High graduate.
At that time, Alexis' father, Jim Spartz, described the year as "extremely frustrating" and said, "We've got no information about what transpired: if they're filing charges, what they would be, what caused the crash."
At one point, he called state police weekly for any updates, he said.
Essex District Attorney Spokesperson Carrie Kimball told The Eagle-Tribune in March that "these motor vehicle investigations, involving a fatality, are lengthy."