Valley News -

By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Fallbrook man charged death of 15-year-old Murrieta student

 

Last updated 6/5/2019 at 12:24pm

TEMECULA - The California Highway Patrol announced late Sunday, June 2 that the high-speed traffic accident on Saturday, June 1 that claimed the life of a 15-year-old girl was caused by the erratic driving of a 19-year-old Fallbrook man who has been charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol and felony vehicular manslaughter.

The Riverside County Coroner confirmed that Lily Kelly Harrison, 15, of Temecula and a student at Calvary Murrieta High School, was killed in the crash. A candlelight vigil took place on 6 p.m. Monday, June 3 at the school's worship room and softball field and more than 700 people attended.

According to the CHP report, Jose A. Zazueta of Fallbrook was driving with three other passengers around 6:19 p.m. Saturday in his 2015 BMW 328i westbound on Rancho California Road at a speed more than 55 miles per hour.

The CHP said Zazueta, "was driving in a reckless manner while traveling uphill, the roadway curved to the right (and) allowed his BMW to veer to the left and into the opposing eastbound traffic lane."

An 18-year-old male from Murrieta was driving his 2005 Toyota Corolla with two passengers - a 15-year-old female and an 18-year-old male, both from Murrieta - eastbound on Rancho California Road, traveling at a speed less than 40 miles per hour.

As Zazueta lost control of his vehicle, the driver of the Corolla was "unable to take any evasive action and the left front of Zazueta's BMW collided head-on into the right front of the Corolla."

According to CHP Officer Mike Lassig, the collision took place just east of Via Santa Rosa in unincorporated Temecula, and the impact of the crash caused fatal blunt force injuries to the 15-year-old female passenger, who was sitting in the right front seat of the Corolla.

The identity of the other victims in the crash have not been released to the media.

The crash sent the BMW off the roadway and down a 150-foot embankment and came to rest on its roof. The occupants of the vehicle were able to get out of the vehicle when it came to a stop.

The Corolla was sent in a westerly direction and into the westbound traffic lane and came to rest on its wheels facing a westerly direction.

Andrew Paulsen, Calvary Murrieta High's Youth Pastor, said the driver, Blake Gaston, 18, who just graduated last week from Calvary Murrieta High School, was admitted to the hospital with bruising on his brain but was released at 1 p.m. Monday, June 3.

Passenger Caleb Powell, 18, suffered fractures to his forearm and femur and underwent surgery to repair the bones. While the surgeries went well, according to Paulsen, he remains under observation at the hospital.

Another male passenger in the BMW was transported to the hospital with moderate to major injuries.

Courtesy photo

Lily Kelly Harrison, 15, of Temecula and a student at Calvary Murrieta High School, was killed in a Saturday, June 1 crash in Temecula involving a Fallbrook man who has been charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol and felony vehicular manslaughter.

During the investigation by the CHP, Zazueta was determined to be driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident and was placed under arrest for felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and felony vehicular manslaughter.

He was transported to Inland Valley Hospital before being booked Sunday, June 2 at the Southwest Detention Facility in Murrieta.

Zazueta's bail was set at $75,000 and he was released on bail on Monday, June 3. His next scheduled court appearance is July 30 at the Murrieta Southwest Justice Center.

The California Highway Patrol, Temecula Area is conducting this traffic collision investigation.

"The CHP would like to remind everyone that DUI's are 100% preventable," CHP Officer Mike Lassig said. "If you drink, don't drive. Designate a sober driver. Your life or someone else's depends on it."

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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