The chances of meeting someone on the road who has been drinking before getting behind the wheel increase exponentially during the holiday season. Sadly, that is what happened to one El Cajon family who lost their young mother just two days before Christmas.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Issac Tre Payne has pleaded not guilty to the charge of DUI manslaughter after a crash in Lemon Grove that claimed the life of a 25-year-old wife and mother.
According to a statement from San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Lynn Crum, the tragic crash happened on Friday, December 23, at approximately 8:25 a.m. when Payne was traveling westbound on State Route 24 at a high rate of speed.
According to eyewitnesses, Payne could easily have been going 100 mph when his vehicle le struck that of a 25-year- old El Cajon woman.
The force of the impact sent the woman’s car airborne and into a call box located at the College Avenue off-ramp. The woman was ejected from her vehicle and onto the roadway.
Police and paramedics responded to the call. The young woman died at the scene due to her injuries in the crash.
Payne fled the crash scene at high speeds and exited at Kelton Road, where he crashed into three parked vehicles. Police reports indicate that Payne attempted to flee the secondary crash on foot but was caught and detained by police officers.
Officers reported smelling an “overwhelming odor of alcohol” on Payne’s person, though he denied having had any alcohol before the crash. A blood test would later reveal that Payne had a blood-alcohol level of 0.98 percent – many times over the legal limit of .08 percent.
Payne was arrested on the charges of DUI-Manslaughter, DUI Hit-and-Run, and other related charges. A judge ordered that he be held without bail.
If convicted of the charges against him, Payne could face up to 15 years in prison.