A Poway crash left a 19-year-old girl dead after her driver fresh out of jail collided with a fire truck.
The crash took place early Thursday morning near San Diego, as a red Honda driven by 44-year-old Robbie Gillsepie hit a truck occupied by a crew of three paramedics and firefighters en route to an emergency. Police said Gillespie had just been released from jail on bond 48 hours before the crash, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said.
Police noted that Gillsepie had been previously arrested for being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, possession of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gillsepie’s passenger — 19-year-old aspiring model Evelyn Courtney — died in the Poway crash after she became trapped under the Honda.
Gillsepie was said to be a mentor and friend to Courtney. He was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Investigators found a broken alcohol bottle inside Gillespie’s car on the scene, but have not determined if drugs or alcohol played a part in the crash.
On Thursday night friends and co-workers of Courtney held a candlelight vigil, remembering the Poway crash victim as a bright young woman with a promising future ahead of her.
Courtney’s brother, Jonathan, told NBC 7 that it’s hard to imagine his sister not fulfilling all the goals and aspirations she’d set.
“Her smile; I’m going to miss her smile the most. She almost always had a smile on her face,” he said.
Police are still trying to determine exactly how the accident took place. They said the Honda broadsided the fire truck, which had its lights and sirens on. Police said the truck had the right of way.
The impact of the accident sent the Honda crashing into a nearby pole, killing Evelyn Courtney.
Police have not yet filed charges in relation to the Poway crash, but said the investigation is ongoing.