Driver in Fatal Crash: I’m a Road Rage Victim

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    Road rage, not racing, caused the crash along State Route 67 that killed a young mother, according to the man sentenced to four years in prison for causing her death.

    Alex Drake, 25, died after her car was hit head-on by a Jaguar in March 2009. She was driving to Fashion Valley with her month-old baby Jayden in the backseat. Her mother, Pamela McKeirnan, was driving ahead Drake in a separate car.

    Mother Recalls Last Sound from Dying Daughter

    [DGO] Mother Recalls Last Sound from Dying Daughter
    Powerful testimony in an East County courtroom, as a Ranchita man hears from the family of a woman he killed. Melvin Pearles pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to prison.

    A Jaguar traveling northbound, at speeds between 75 -100 mph according to the CHP, lost control and crossed lanes into oncoming traffic at Quail Rock.

    Melvin Pearles, the driver of the Jaguar, was injured in the crash. He later pleaded guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter.

    CHP officers testified during the trial that Pearles was speeding in an effort to overtake a white BMW. The driver of that vehicle was never found.

    In an interview from jail with a local television reporter, Pearles blamed the BMW driver who was tailgating him just before the accident. He reportedly said it was that driver who caused the crash, not him.

    Pearles also believes Caltrans should be held responsible as well because there are no barriers on SR-67.

    An attorney for Drake's family said they are planning to file a lawsuit against Pearles and the state of California. They believe SR-67 is too dangerous and the state hasn't done enough to make it safer.

    As for the baby who was left without a mother after the deadly crash, "I'm so glad that he survived and they have that gift. I don't know why Alexandria died and I didn't. But I have to live with it, too," Pearles told the television reporter. He plans to start up a trust fund for the baby as soon as his prison sentence ends.