Four teen girls hurt in a crash admonished former Murrieta Mayor Alan Long on Wednesday, one day after he was re-elected as a city councilman despite felony DUI charges against him.
The four Murrieta High School cheerleaders were hurt Oct. 16 when Long, who was behind the wheel of a full-size pickup, allegedly rear-ended a sedan carrying the girls shortly after 8 p.m. Oct. 16 at Jefferson and Lily avenues.
"I haven't felt good at all," said Mellisa Reynolds, who's wearing a brace while healing from a broken neck. "There hasn't been a day that I felt good at all since it happened. Everything on the right side of my body always hurts. I get very sharp pains and I constantly have headaches."
Reynolds’ mother Rosy Dewart is furious with Long and feels let down by the community, especially as her family has a history of tragedy because of DUI incidents.
"It's wrong, it's totally wrong. It's devastated our families," Dewart said, "I had a brother that was killed in 1990 by a drunk driver and I came to Murrieta to give the kids a better life."
Long's re-election into Murrieta City Council is leaving the girls in disbelief.
"He's supposed to be a role model," victim Andi Williams said. "No matter what he did, he tested positive for drinking, period."
"You mentally and physically hurt four people," Chloe Rogers said of Long. "You shouldn't be given the right to have a normal life. It was just frustrating for me to see the support of my own city not supporting minors instead supporting someone who can't even abide by the rules that he implemented."
"It surprises me that more parents in Murrieta aren't putting themselves in our shoes," her mother Cathy Rogers said, "We definitely didn't ask for our lives to be disrupted and the girls not to be able to cheer the rest of the season and not be able to attend the school anymore."
Her other daughter Camille Rogers was in the front seat and suffered head trauma.
"We are struggling. We are having these intense headaches, these side effects of a crash," Rogers said. "We didn't deserve that."
At the time of the crash, Long, an Anaheim Fire Department battalion chief, was serving his one-year term as mayor in a city that rotates its mayor among City Council members. He resigned from his post days after being arrested on suspicion of felony DUI.
The victims could not speak extensively about the crash, citing an ongoing criminal case, but Camille's sister, Chloe Rogers, said she was making a legal left turn and had her blinker on when Long's truck suddenly barreled into her car.
In the police report obtained by NBC4, the former mayor said he was driving 25 mph when the car in front of him slammed on the brakes for no reason, but the victims dispute that.
"I didn't ask to be hit," Chloe Rogers said. "I did everything I could to avoid being hit."
Attorney Jean Simon Serrano, who is representing Chloe and Camille Rogers, was not impressed with the claim.
"The photos we are seeing of the cars, I don't see how he was only going 25 mph," Serrano said.
The officer who wrote the police report stated Long, whose blood alcohol content was .08 percent, was visibly intoxicated and failed a field sobriety test.