ME: Intentional Wrong-Way Driver Was Depressed, Suicidal, on Drugs

Trista Stier, 29, drove the wrong way on State Route 67 on May 30 in an “intentional act-turned-homicide” that resulted in her death and the killing of Alpine resident Doug Menegos, 49

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7 San Diego

    A woman who intentionally drove the wrong way onto an east San Diego freeway killing herself and another motorist had long battled with depression and tested positive for drugs, a report from the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office confirms.

    On May 30, Trista Stier, 29, drove the wrong way on purpose up an off-ramp on State Route 67 in Lakeside just as Alpine resident Doug Menegos, 49, approached the road in his utility truck.

    Stier’s vehicle slammed head-on into Menegos’ truck. Both were killed as a result of the crash. Menegos, a husband and father of two, had been on his way home from work at the time of the collision.

    From the beginning, California Highway Patrol investigators said it appeared Stier had driven the wrong way intentionally and was likely suicidal. Officials called the tragic collision an “intentional act-turned-homicide.”

    2 Killed in Head-On Crash on SR-67 2 Killed in Head-On Crash on SR-67 Two people were killed in a head-on crash on State Route 67 in Lakeside. NBC 7's Candice Nguyen.

    Now, a report compiled by the San Diego ME’s office and obtained by NBC 7 confirms Stier had a long medical history of depression and had even attempted to commit suicide once before. Toxicological testing also detected methamphetamine and marijuana in her system at the time of the fatal collision.

    According to the report, Stier’s family told officials that she had been diagnosed with depression for many years and had been on and off various medications. Stier had tried to kill herself two-and-a-half years ago by slitting her wrists, the family said.

    The report states that Stier’s roommate told officials Stier had ongoing issues with depression that had recently worsened. The roommate said Stier had been stressed out because she couldn’t get a job and was somewhat estranged from her family.

    Stier had sought help for her depression from a psychiatrist. A week before the crash, she had switched medications, the report stated.

    The roommate told officials Stier used medical marijuana, but was not known to use alcohol or illicit drugs. She may have had issues abusing medications, the report said.

    A Family's Plea for Answers A Family's Plea for Answers The CHP says Trista Stier intentionally drove the wrong way on State Route 67, killing an Alpine father. NBC 7's Candice Nguyen reports.

    The document also sheds light into what transpired leading up to the fatal collision.

    Stier’s roommate told investigators that Stier and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument the day before the crash.

    On May 30, Stier took all of her clothing and belongings, except for her cellphone, and left home early in the morning. Worried, her boyfriend called friends who said they hadn’t seen Stier.

    He then called her mother. Stier’s mother called 911 and reported she was concerned for her daughter.

    Later that evening, loved ones were notified of Stier’s crash and consequent death. Her autopsy report confirmed her manner of death as suicide.

    As for Menegos, the bystander in this tragic incident, his family continues to keep his memory alive through a Facebook memorial page. Loved ones have also established an online memorial fund for Menegos’ wife and two children. So far, more than 350 people have donated more than $54,000 to the family. The page is filled with heartfelt messages for the family.
     

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