The man facing criminal charges in a crash that killed a teen model admits he used methamphetamine the day of the incident but thought he was sober enough to get behind the wheel.
In a jailhouse interview with NBC 7, Robbie Gillespie offers up new details about a crash that took the life of Poway teenager Evelyn Courtney.
The 45-year-old faces charges of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter after a fire truck hit his car, killing Courtney.
Gillespie says he wishes he was the one that died that night so that his friend could live on.
Gillespie claims he had the green light when he crossed the intersection at Midland and Poway Road. He said he didn't know the fire engine was coming with no sirens.
“Next thing you know I'm spinning around and slamming into a light pole,” he said.
Two days before the collision he had bailed out of jail and couldn't go home.
“My wife said she'd call the police and I didn't want that to happen. I didn't want that to be around my wife and my kids,” he explained.
He said he and Courtney had built a platonic relationship in the weeks before the crash, sharing each other's problems.
He said the 19-year-old aspiring model would often be drinking when they had their talks. Officials say her blood alcohol level was 3 times the legal limit at the time of the crash.
According to Gillespie she was preventing him from doing more methamphetamine.
She had encouraged him to stop doing meth, and he says the night before the crash it was her that kept him from doing more drugs.
“I knew that if I was with her, I wouldn't use,” he said. “And I didn't.
Gillespie says if he could trade places with the teenager, he would.
Now he's seeking the help of a pastor, trying to figure out why his life was spared and how he can make amends.
“He said ‘You know there's a reason why you lived and she didn't,’” Gillespie said. “He said ‘Your will on this earth is not done yet.’”
Gillespie is scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.