Drunk driver remanded to jail for fiery head-on crash in Pacific Beach
Published - 01/30/19 - 09:08 AM | 3932 views | 1 1 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
A drunk driver who injured three people and herself in a fiery head-on crash on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach was sentenced Monday to one year in jail.

Rachel Julian Fogle, 41, burst into tears as she was handcuffed by a sheriff's deputy just as her sentencing ended before San Diego Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis.

"I love you all," said Fogle tearfully, as she looked at more than a dozen friends and supporters in the audience as she was led into a holding cell.

Fogle, who is also known as Rachel Ballesteros and Rachel Warren, was an emergency room nurse in a hospital before the Sept. 9, 2018 incident on Garnet Avenue at 1:55 p.m. when she ran a red light. Her black Hyundai Elantra struck a white Toyota Camry, which then struck a parked car.

She was booked in the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility on Monday, and her projected release date is July 29, according to the sheriff's department. She had been free on $250,000 bond.

Coincidentally, one victim of the crash was a substance abuse counselor. Harry Brooks, 68, told the judge he had to retire because of injuries from a concussion.

Brooks told the judge he was troubled that no one has answered a central question he had: "Does she really want to be sober?" he asked.

Lewis said Fogle's blood/alcohol level was .26, which is three times the legal limit for felony drunk driving. The judge also said Fogle had been convicted of DUI twice previously.

Brooks' partner, Maria Wooten, 62, was also injured and used a walker to come forward to speak to the judge. Wooten said she was not able to return to work and she had "pain every day since the collision."

"I want my life back," said Wooten, saying she was "suffering the consequences of an irresponsible drunk driver."

"My in-laws are not pushing for vengeance," said Matthew Johnson, who is Wooten's son-in-law. "Our fear is she will return to our neighborhood... and kill someone," he added, citing the traffic on Garnet Avenue.

Lewis ordered Fogle to pay $14,516 in restitution to Brooks and Wooten for their injuries. Fogle was fined $2,000 and given credit for one day spent in jail following her Sept. 20 arrest at her Chula Vista home.

Lewis turned down a plea that Fogle serve part of her sentence in work furlough. 

Fogle's attorney, Joel Bailey, said it was possible Fogle might be able to retain her job if she got a shorter sentence, but he acknowledged that Fogle might lose some nursing licenses as a result of her felony conviction. She pleaded guilty to DUI and causing injuries.

The third person hurt was her husband, Joshua Fogle, 44, of Chula Vista, who suffered a head injury.

"I want to say how sorry I am, and its not because I'm going to jail," said Fogle.

"I never knew I was an alcoholic, but I realize that now," said Fogle. "I will never drink again, I promise you that."

"At least you recognize that," said the judge.

Lewis ordered Fogle not to drink alcohol, even in her own home, while on probation for five years and not to frequent liquor stores or nightclubs where alcohol is served.

She also ordered Fogle to get substance abuse counseling. The judge added that if Fogle drinks again and fatally injures someone, she could be charged with murder.

Surveillance cameras at 1344 Garnet Ave. captured the crash on video when Fogle crossed double yellow lines and struck the Toyota. She was driving at the approximate speed of 50-60 mph through the red light. The speed limit on Garnet Avenue is 25 mph.

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PB resident
February 04, 2019
One year (6 months served) for a third DUI conviction. Unacceptable
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