Irvine Man Convicted of Second-Degree Murder in Drunk Driving Death of Teen

In May 2011, 14-year-old Ashton Sweet and three of her friends were returning from a party in a car driven by a father of one of her friends. On a collision course with the car was a pickup truck driven by Ashton Farley of Irvine. The drama that began that night ended in October this year with the second-degree murder conviction of Mr. Farley, now 28 years old.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Irvine Boulevard and Culver Drive when Mr. Farley, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) more than twice the legal limit, smashed into the Mercedes-Benz carrying Ms. Sweet and her friends.

While her friends and the drivers also suffered injury, Ms. Sweet suffered a skull fracture and traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with a host of other injuries. Just hours later, Ms. Sweet was declared brain dead, and life support was turned off when suitable candidates for organ donation could be found.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of TBIs include:

  • Falls
  • Traffic accidents
  • Struck by or impact accidents
  • Assault

Despite the seeming safety of the brain within the skull, during a high-energy car accident, the brain can be injured by the skull itself when the brain is jarred as a result of a hard impact, such as that suffered by Ms. Sweet.

With a history of alcohol-related arrests, Mr. Farley was also convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury. He faces 21 years to life in prison when sentenced.

Lives continue to be ended and ruined by alcohol. Speak to a knowledgeable injury attorney in California if you or a loved one suffers a TBI or other injury in a motor vehicle accident.

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