State police: Woman had cannabis in her system at time of fatal crash

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PITTSTON — A Wilkes-Barre woman had cannabis in her system when she crashed her vehicle, killing a passenger while traveling on Interstate 81 more than a year ago, according to recently filed court records.

Jayda Latriece Barber, 27, of Griffith Lane, was charged by state police at Wilkes-Barre with accidents involving death, driving under the influence and other offenses in connection to the July 14, 2020, crash that killed Zyier Spruell, 18, of Plymouth.

Charges were filed at the office of District Judge Alexandra Kokura Kravitz in Pittston and mailed to Barber.

According to the criminal complaint:

Barber was traveling north on I-81 when she lost control her of 1997 BMW just past the Oak Street Bridge in Pittston Township.

Barber’s vehicle spun into the grassy median where it flipped and rolled an unknown number of times coming to rest against a guide rail for the southbound lanes.

Spruell was ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. He died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township.

Another passenger in the vehicle, Santalena Lundy, 26, of Wilkes-Barre, suffered severe injuries.

State police in the complaint say the vehicle had a strong odor of marijuana.

Two bags of marijuana and sealed packages of marijuana-laced cookies were found inside the vehicle, the complaint says.

Search warrants were served to retrieve Barber’s blood for testing, which allegedly showed levels of THC Delta 9 in her system at the time of the crash.

Barber also is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving a vehicle without insurance, speeding, driving without a license, reckless driving, careless driving and disregard traffic lane.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 2.

In an unrelated case, Barber was arrested by the state Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics and Investigation on March 29 on felony drug trafficking offenses in Wilkes-Barre. She remains free on $50,000 unsecured bail on the drug trafficking case, according to court records.

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