Former Yuma Marine sentenced in San Diego fatality
A former Marine from Yuma has been sentenced to five years probation and one year in San Diego County jail for causing a rollover accident that killed a fellow Yuma Marine on a San Diego freeway earlier this year.
Ashley Maya, 22, was charged in San Diego Superior Court after the Feb. 12 crash that killed fellow Marine Cpl. Pedro Conceicao. Both were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. She plead guilty last month to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter in a plea agreement for the alcohol-fueled crash.
Conceicao, 24, was an aviation supply specialist from Fairfax, Va. He joined the Marine Corps in 2008 and served in Afghanistan. He had been awarded a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
In addition to manslaughter, Maya also plead guilty to driving under the influence, causing serious bodily injury to another person. Her blood-alcohol content measured 0.12 percent within an hour of the crash. The legal limit for drivers in California is 0.08 percent.
If Maya, who had been a supply clerk attached to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13, violates the terms of her probation, she could be sent to prison.
Capt. Staci Reidinger, director of public affairs at MCAS Yuma, said Maya is no longer a Marine, pending a recent command decision to administratively separate her from the Marine Corps.
The wreck happened at about 3:15 a.m. Feb. 12 on an eastbound Interstate 8 interchange. Conceicao, who was ejected from the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger, 25-year-old Vasty Castillo, of El Cajon, was also ejected and suffered a broken back and other serious injuries. Neither Conceicao nor Castillo was wearing a seat belt. The third passenger, 23-year-old Bryan Salcido, also from El Cajon, extricated himself from the car and sustained minor injuries. Maya was hospitalized then booked into jail two days after the accident.
San Diego's 10news.com previously reported that California Highway Patrol Officer Brad Clinkscales testified during Maya's preliminary hearing that surveillance video from a nightclub showed Maya drinking alcohol earlier that evening.
The website also reported that Conceicao had taken Maya's keys away from her as they left the club, but that he gave them back to her after she punched him three times, at least one of which was in the face. Evidence also presented during the court hearing included that Maya drove off with the car door still open before coming back to pick up two other passengers.
Once they were northbound on State Route 163, the website reports that front-seat passenger Bryan Salcido said he yelled at Maya twice to slow down. He testified that Maya was traveling about 90 mph when she tried to negotiate a sharp turn onto eastbound Interstate 8 and lost control of her 2007 Chevrolet HHR, which rolled over, ejecting back-seat passengers Conceicao and Castillo.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.