Driver in fatal Olney crash indicted

Kevin Coffay, the 20-year-old Montgomery County man accused of fleeing into the woods after a car crash that killed three of his friends, was indicted Thursday on three counts of manslaughter by vehicle and one count of failing to remain at the scene of a fatal wreck, officials said.

If convicted, Coffay would face up to 10 years for each count, said a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorneys office.

Just after 3 a.m., May 15, the Toyota Corolla that Coffay was driving veered off a wet, curvy road in the Olney area, officials have said. The car struck two trees and a telephone pole.

Coffay climbed from the wreckage and walked into nearby woods, as three of his friends were dead or dying, Montgomery States Attorney John McCarthy said at an earlier court hearing. Police found Coffay about three hours after the crash. He smelled of alcohol at the time, McCarthy said, and he was tested for his alcohol level.

A spokesman for McCarthy declined to answer questions about the test results because the case is pending.

Michael McAuliffe, Coffay’s attorney, said he has been talking to prosecutors and hopes to resolve the case before a trial. Coffay, he said, is under house arrest and does not go out.

McAuliffe said Coffay is “just a mess.”

“They were all friends,” McAuliffe said. “Three of his close friends are dead, and he’s being held responsible for it.”

McAuliffe declined to comment on a possible plea deal, and would not say whether his client was drinking.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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