A crash on State Route 74 that clogged traffic Friday night and claimed a young woman’s life was the result of drunken driving, authorities are now reporting.
Theresa Jean Estes, 53, of Lake Elsinore was arrested for felony driving under the influence, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and murder, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Nathan Baer.
The crash was reported just before 5 p.m. on the busy highway near Spring Street, east of the 15 Freeway in unincorporated area, just outside Lake Elsinore.
Estes was driving a 2004 red Nissan Sentra and attempted to make a left turn on to eastbound SR 74 from Spring Street, but didn’t yield to a white 1997 Honda Civic driven by 18-year-old Ashleigh Brooks of Lake Elsinore, who was heading westbound on the state route, according to the Riverside County Coroner’s Office.
The young woman tried to brake, but hit Estes and crossed into eastbound SR 74 traffic where her car was smashed into by a 38-year-old Perris man driving a white three-axle Ford truck towing a black utility trailer, Baer said.
The man tried to stop, but was unable to avoid hitting the Honda, Baer confirmed.
“[The young woman] sustained major injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene,” Baer reported.