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Teen faces manslaughter, assault charges in Lewiston crash killing classmate

LEWISTON – A high school classmate was criminally charged Tuesday for the May 19 crash that killed Jasmin P. Dubuc, a 19-year-old Niagara Wheatfield High School senior.

Taylor J. Clause, 18, of Walmore Road, the driver of the vehicle in which Dubuc was a passenger, faces vehicular manslaughter and assault charges.

After the crash, Clause recorded a blood-alcohol content more than two times the legal threshold of 0.08 percent, according to state police. Her arraignment was scheduled in Lewiston Town Court.

Clause and her passengers, Dubuc, of Cayuga Drive, Niagara Falls, and Jasmine A. Rickard, 18, of Upper Mountain Road, were in a 2009 Mazda heading north on Walmore Road.

At about 5:50 a.m. the car failed to negotiate a curve, struck a utility pole and rolled over several times, killing Dubuc, who was thrown from the vehicle, according to police reports. Dubuc was pronounced dead at the scene. Rickard was treated in a hospital and was discharged shortly after the crash. Clause suffered critical injuries and was hospitalized for more than a month.

State police said none of the young women was wearing a seat belt.

Clause, who suffered extensive trauma in the crash, was not immediately charged because of her injuries, according to state police.

The crash happened just weeks before the seniors’ June prom and graduation.