For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING TEEN BY CAUSING CRASH THAT KNOCKED VICTIM OVER FREEWAY GUARDRAIL
WESTMINSTER – A drunken driver was sentenced today to six years in state prison for 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, 26, Highland, pleaded guilty May 10, 2013, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence and was found guilty by a jury Dec. 12, 2012, of one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury. Several members of the victim’s family were present at the hearing.
At approximately 11:55 p.m. on April 2, 2011, Bryan was driving under the influence of alcohol in a Honda Civic northbound on California State Route 57 in Orange. The defendant failed 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 Bryan’s crash 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 and knee. The defendant was transported to the hospital for minor cuts and bruises.
Responding officers contacted Bryan at the hospital. Approximately two and a half hours after the crash, the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .17 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Cook’s mother and father presented a victim impact statement to the court when Bryan pleaded guilty, which said in part, “Unlike the old adage, ‘Time heals all,’ the impact of Cameron’s absence becomes greater as time goes by, as we suffer with the realization that each minute represents a minute that Cameron is not here where he belongs. Grief has no expiration date. We both would have gladly stood in front of the defendant’s car if it could have saved Cameron’s life.”
At the request of Cook’s parents, a copy of the full victim impact statement and a photograph of the victim are available to the media upon request by contacting Roxi.Fyad@da.ocgov.com.
The California Highway Patrol investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.