DA: Driver in Poway crash that killed passenger was arrested earlier this week

Robbie Gillespie booked on drug charges

SAN DIEGO - The driver of a Honda Accord that collided with a Poway fire engine Thursday morning -- resulting in the death of his female passenger -- was arrested earlier this week, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

The district attorney's office confirmed that San Diego County sheriff's deputies in Poway arrested 44-year-old Robbie Gillespie Tuesday. He was booked on possession of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gillespie, however, posted the $5,000 bail and was released from custody. He was scheduled to appear in court on June 25.

On Thursday, Gillespie and 19-year-old Evelyn Courtney were traveling south on Midland Road about 4 a.m. when the eastbound Poway Fire Department engine collided with their vehicle at Poway Road, pushing it into a roadside light pole, according to sheriff's officials.

The fire engine was responding to a medical-aid call.

The three people in the fire engine were unhurt and came to the aid of Gillespie and Courtney, who died from her injuries at the scene despite the lifesaving attempts, sheriff's officials said.

Medics took Gillespie to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The nature of the relationship between Courtney -- an aspiring fashion model who was unmarried and lived with her parents in Poway -- and Gillespie was not immediately clear.

The personnel staffing the fire engine told investigators they had entered the street crossing on a green light, with their overhead emergency lights activated.

An open alcoholic beverage container was found in the crumpled Accord, according to sheriff's Lt. Jeff Duckworth.

"Investigators are looking into the possibility that drugs and/or alcohol may have been a factor in the collision," Duckworth said.

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