SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) – A 19-year-old man is charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault and reckless driving after causing a crash that killed a young mother and injured her daughter, according to court documents.
Esteban Alvarez-Ayala told investigators he was in the slow lane and was passing a vehicle traveling in the fast lane, records show. Alvarez-Ayala said he was going about 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour.
A witness, however, contradicts Alvarez-Ayala’s account of his speed. The witness told police that Alvarez-Ayala was likely traveling 70 miles per hour, according to court documents.
Alvarez-Ayala said while he was passing the vehicle, he lost control of his vehicle when he “jerked” the steering wheel. His vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on into a vehicle carrying two people, an adult and an 8-year-old girl.
The driver, Shana Lucas, died on scene. Her daughter was taken to the hospital with a broken arm and shoulder.
Bail was set at $150,000 for Alvarez-Ayala. He has since posted his bail and has been released.
He is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 1