Defense argues facts have been misinterpreted

The Sept. 28 trial readiness conference for Pam Allen has been moved to Nov. 20.

In April 2017, Allen, 66, of Idyllwild, was charged with three felonies for the March 31 collision with Julia Romero, 18, also of Idyllwild, on Highway 243. Two of the charges were for driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury. The third charge was hit and run.

However, defense attorney Donald Bartell has filed a motion to remove the first two felony charges against Allen. These relate to driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury.

Arguments opposing these charges were presented in a July 9 hearing. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Randall D. White presided over that hearing and ruled there was sufficient cause to proceed with the case against Allen.

However, on behalf of Allen, her attorney has filed another motion to remove these charges and now Judge Jorge C. Hernandez is presiding over the case

In his motion, Bartell writes, “The evidence presented at the preliminary hearing was insufficient to show that the defendant did any act forbidden by law … also no competent admissible evidence to show that the defendant had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more, by weight of alcohol in her blood while driving.”

In this motion, Bartell argues that California Highway Patrol Officer Michael Bell believed the crash occurred in the southbound lane (from Pine Cove toward Idyllwild); therefore Allen, since she was driving north toward Pine Cove, must have caused it and been under the influence.

But Bartell claims, “The evidence at the hearing did not establish this fact. Indeed, the evidence established the opposite — that the accident occurred due to the Hyundai driving into the defendant’s lane of travel.”

Further, his expert witness, Herbert Summers, Ph.D., a forensic engineer, testified that “the weight difference between the two vehicles, and the location at which the vehicles came to rest as depicted in Bell’s diagram, the area of impact would have been in the northbound lane (the one in which the defendant was traveling).”

In the July hearing, in response to a question from the prosecutor that Bell’s assessment of the location of the initial collision was wrong, Summers replied, “Based on basic principles of physics and accident reconstruction, yes.”

Until the Nov. 20 hearing on the motion, Allen remains released on a $75,000 bail.

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