Riverside coroner officials identified the body of an eighteen-year-old woman that was killed in a DUI car accident on Friday near Lake Elsinore. They said it belonged to Ashleigh Brooks of Lake Elsinore.
The accident happened on Highway 74 at around 4:45 p.m. when Brooks swerved to avoid slamming into a car but instead was struck by a truck.
According to California Highway Patrol, the accident was caused by suspected drunken driver Theresa Jean Estes, a 53-year-old woman of Lake Elsinore.
When authorities arrived to the scene, they arrested Estes on suspicion of murder, DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. This was not Estes’s first conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Court records indicate that she has been convicted in the past.
A CHP statement claims that Estes was driving southbound on Spring Street in a red 2004 Nissan Sentra prior to merging onto Highway 74. Once on the highway, she pulled up in front of Brooks who was heading westbound.
In a white 1997 Honda Civic brooks slammed on the brakes and made a turn maneuver to avoid a collision with Estes but managed to strike the left front of the car. Instead of avoiding a complete accident, the Honda lost control and headed towards the eastbound lanes where it met a three-axle Ford truck that was towing a trailer with force.
Paramedics declared Brooks dead on the scene.
Estes was transported to a nearby hospital where she would be treated for injuries that Cal Fire/Riverside County fire officials described as minor. The truck driver, a 38-year-old Perris man was uninjured.
Authorities waited for Estes to be released from the hospital before they arrested her. Jail records show that she was booked Saturday afternoon and is being held at Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside with bail set at $1 million.
Riverside County records state that in the years of 1992 and 2010, Estes pled guilty to DUI misdemeanors. In her most recent case she was sentenced to serve three years of probation, spend six days in jail and was required to participate in an educational DUI program – all which has mostly been completed over the last year. After the judge read her sentence, she advised Estes that if someone was killed as a result of her actions while drinking and driving, she would be charged with murder.
The accident continues to be under investigation.
If you lost a loved one to a drunken driving accident, contact a wrongful death lawyer. But if you were injured in the area as a result of someone’s negligent driving, a Riverside car accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve. So, call today!