New Details Released in Firetruck Death

Medical Examiner’s office says 19-year-old Evelyn Courtney was intoxicated at the time of the accident

New details have surfaced about a 19-year-old woman who died after she was riding in a car that was hit by a firetruck.

Evelyn Courtney, 19, had a blood alcohol content of 0.2 - roughly three times the legal limit. Investigators also said they found a broken bottle of liquor in the car.

Courtney was not driving during the incident. Behind the wheel was 44-year-old Robbie Gillespie, who suffered minor injuries.

According to a report by the medical examiner’s office, Courtney left the home sometime during the night with the family dog. Gillespie then picked her up at a spot near her home.

Gillespie was driving southbound on Midland Road around 5 a.m. and ran a red light when a Poway fire truck was traveling eastbound on Poway Road. The fire truck displayed its emergency lights, but was not using the siren.

Both Gillespie and the firetruck two were traveling at the speed limit, but collided when the firetruck entered the intersection.

Courtney was pronounced dead at the scene, and officials later found that her dog also died in the car.

Investigators learned that the driver and Courtney had known each other for a little more than a year. That night he has asked the teenager to pay for a hotel so he could sleep, as he told investigators he’d just lost his job.

No charges have been filed against Gillespie and the investigation is ongoing. He had been released from jail just two days before the crash, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department confirmed last month.

Courtney was an aspiring print and runway model who worked at Steinmart in Poway.

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