The man who crashed his car into a fire truck, killing his 19-year-old passenger, appeared in court Monday afternoon.
45-year-old Robbie Gillespie pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs. The judge set bail at $350,000.
The fatal crash happened around 5 a.m. on June 20 at the intersection of Poway Road and Midland Road. Investigators said Gillespie ran into a Poway fire truck that was responding to a call.
19-year-old Evelyn Courtney, an aspiring model, died at the scene.
In a jailhouse interview with NBC 7, Gillespie said he thought he had a green light and didn’t know the fire engine was coming.
According to the sheriff’s department, Gillespie had been arrested on DUI and drug charges in the past. He bailed out of jail just two days before the accident.
Gillespie said he and Courtney had a friendly, platonic relationship and that she encouraged him not to use drugs. He admitted to using methamphetamine the day before the crash.
The Medical Examiner’s Office said the victim’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.
A preliminary hearing for Gillespie is scheduled for August 16.