2.26.2010

TS - New driver named in fatal collision

New driver named in fatal collision

The California Highway Patrol has identified a new individual as one of the drivers involved in a suspected illegal street race that killed a 9-year-old girl.

Jason B. Whitmill, 31, has been named the driver of a Pontiac Sunbird involved in the alleged race. A Chevrolet Tahoe also traveling on State Route 299 was clipped by a car speeding at 90 miles per hour or more, according to CHP.

The Sunbird and the Tahoe went off the road. The collision killed 9-year-old Nicole Quigley, and seriously injured her mother, Debra Quigley, after their vehicle -- the Tahoe -- overturned and hit a utility pole.

A third person of interest, the driver of a silver Ford Mustang, is still at large.

According to CHP information, Whitmill was arrested the night of the collision for violating his parole. He is being held in the Humboldt County jail. On Wednesday evening, charges had not been filed, but are pending.

Whitmill suffered minor injuries in the wreck, CHP reported.

Cheri Marcelli, who was hospitalized after the crash, was previously named as the Sunbird's driver. Her name was removed from an updated collision report.

Authorities continue the search for a silver Ford Mustang, possibly a convertible, with a black top. After receiving numerous tips, investigators with CHP wrote in a release that “not all owners of a silver Ford Mustang are involved in this case,” and advised people to be respectful of others' privacy when gathering information.

”The CHP is still attempting to identify the driver, or any passengers of the silver Ford Mustang with a black convertible top and has been following up on numerous leads from the public,” a release stated. “The driver of the silver Ford Mustang is considered a person of interest only in the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call CHP at 822-5981.
Sean Garmire can be reached at 441-0514 or sgarmire@times-standard.com.