Driver Robbie Gillespie pleads guilty in fatal crash in Poway that killed Evelyn Courtney

Gillespie changed plea

SAN DIEGO - A man who was high on methamphetamine when he ran a red light, crashed into a Poway fire truck and killed a 19-year-old passenger in his car, pleaded guilty Thursday to gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs and possession of methamphetamine.

Robbie Dean Gillespie, 45, faces up to 10 years and eight months in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 6 by Superior Court Judge Dwayne Moring.

Gillespie was arrested Aug. 1 at his home in the 12000 block of Alta Carmel Court in Rancho Bernardo in the June 20 death of Evelyn Courtney, who was an aspiring fashion model.

Deputy District Attorney Dan Link said Gillespie was arrested June 18 for having 1.8 grams of meth in a Poway hotel room. Two men  and two women, 18 and 19 years old, were also in the room.

Gillespie bailed out of jail the next morning and, admitted using meth and marijuana while free, Link said.

On June 20 about  4 a.m., Gillespie got in a car with Courtney, whom he described as a friend, and was driving under the influence of meth when he ran a red light and collided with the front of a fire truck going about 40 mph.

Courtney died at the scene. Gillespie was freed from the wreckage and hospitalized.

Gillespie was arrested but not charged until a traffic investigation was completed. In interviews with news outlets, Gillespie said he was taking Courtney home when the accident happened.

An open alcoholic beverage container was found in Gillespie's Honda Accord, sheriff's deputies said.

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