Two teens killed in separate DUI crashes
Two North County teens died Friday morning in separate alcohol-related crashes, forcing families to face a deadly, local trend that’s killed 11 young people in less than three months, it was reported Saturday.
“I’m hammered,” Veronica Elizabeth Aguirre texted to a girlfriend in Poway just before midnight Thursday, according to The San Diego Union Tribune.
Less than 90 minutes later, the 17-year-old cheerleader was dead.
Since Sept. 20, nine crashes in San Diego County with drivers under age 21 have resulted in 11 deaths, the Union-Tribune reported. In at least five of the wrecks, including the two on Friday, alcohol or drugs were or are suspected to be a factor.
Aguirre’s death was reported at 1:09 a.m. on westbound Mountain Meadow Road in the Hidden Meadows area, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Aguirre was the driver and sole occupant of a Kia Sportage that rolled over multiple times, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. She died at the scene.
Shortly before midnight, Aguirre had sent a text message to a girlfriend in Poway urging her to join a party in Escondido.
“She texted, `I’m hammered.’ She was definitely very, very drunk,” Ashley Valenzuela, 18, a Poway High School graduate who saw the message, told the Union-Tribune. The friend texted back, offering to pick up Aguirre, but she drove instead.
About six hours later, Jeffrey Hodson, who turned 18 Wednesday, was fatally injured when the 2000 Honda he was riding in veered off Harmony Grove Road and struck a eucalyptus tree, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Hodson died at the scene.
The 17-year-old unlicensed driver was treated at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony drunken driving, Highway Patrol public affairs Officer Eric Newbury said.
The arrested boy’s name was withheld because he is a minor.
On Thursday, a Torrey Pines High School student was sentenced to 547 days at a juvenile detention camp after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter in a drunken-driving crash that killed a friend and injured another on Oct. 4, the Union-Tribune reported.
“I don’t know why people aren’t getting it,” Paula Myers, a victims advocate at the San Diego office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told the Union-Tribune. “We all have to step up and be part of the solution. DUI is 100 percent preventable.”
- Probe continues in crash that killed Torrey Pines senior
- TPHS student killed in crash identified
- Teen killed in rollover crash in Fairbanks Ranch
- Fewer drunk driving arrests reported
- One fatality reported over busy holiday weekend
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