Local News

Wednesday, Jan 22 2014 09:32 PM

Passengers detail injuries suffered in alleged DUI crash that killed two

BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Tyruss Crofton said he was traveling in a car driven by his cousin when suddenly his head started spinning.

He wasn't sure what had happened, but each time he tried turning his head to the left he felt something jab him. It was his broken collarbone protruding from his skin.

Crofton's grisly recollection about the April 20, 2012 crash that killed his cousin and a friend came at the beginning of Wednesday's preliminary hearing for Terri Lynn Papadakis, which will continue Thursday morning. Papadakis 48, is charged with six felonies, including two counts of DUI vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Prosecutors say Papadakis was driving under the influence when her 2002 Mitsubishi Montero crashed into a 1990s Honda Accord containing Crofton and three other teens. Aubrey La Jonte Crofton, 19, and Angelo Reyes, 14, were killed.

Tyruss Crofton suffered the broken collarbone and broken ribs. Another passenger, Isaiah Gonzalez, suffered broken ribs, a broken tailbone and spent time in a coma.

Gonzalez, 17, said in court he was a passenger in the back seat. He said he didn't recall the crash. He blacked out, and spent the next month and a half unsure of his surroundings or what was going on.

"Every day felt like a dream," he said. "It didn't feel real."

Gonzalez said the impact sent pieces of glass into the back of his head.

Prosecutor Courtney Lewis said she has three more witnesses to call Thursday, in addition to completing questioning of former Bakersfield police Officer Adam Ketchum. The officer, one of several who responded to crash scene in the 5800 block of Fairfax Road, said there was damage to the front of the Montero and the driver's side of the Accord.

No testimony has been given regarding Papadakis' intoxication or the speed she was traveling when the crash occurred.

Papadakis, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, is being held on $700,000 bail.

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