SANTA ANA – According to the Orange County District Attorney, a drunken driver has been charged with killing an 18-year-old man by causing a crash that knocked the victim over a freeway guardrail to a more-than 50 foot fall.
Ashley Selina Bryan, 24, Highland, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement for multiple victims. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison. Bryan is being held on $100,000 bail and was arraigned, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
At approximately 11:55 p.m. on April 2, 2011, Bryan is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in a Honda Civic northbound on California State Route 57 in Orange. The defendant is accused of failing to avoid a disabled Chevrolet Camaro, which was stopped on the right shoulder. The driver of the Camaro, Logan Vescio, 18, was seated in the passenger seat of his disabled vehicle. Victim Cameron Cook, 18, had been a passenger in the Camaro and was standing outside of the vehicle near a guardrail.
The force of the crash caused by Bryan pushed the Camaro into Cook, who was knocked backward over the guardrail. The victim fell approximately 50 to 60 feet and landed on a concrete embankment below the freeway.
Cook was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 5:00 a.m. Vescio suffered abrasions to his face. The defendant was transported to the hospital for minor cuts and bruises.
Responding officers contacted the defendant at the hospital. Approximately an hour and half after the crash, the defendant is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .17 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
The California Highway Patrol investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.