This could be just the story of another teenager making a dumb, tragic mistake: drinking, then driving, then crashing in a rollover that killed one passenger and injured the other. But 19-year-old Audrey Rose Brecht's "mistake" was previewed with two other drunken driving citations, including two license suspensions. And, after this last and most horrible incident, Brecht has a parent who still is making excuses for her daughter's behavior.
At 16, Audrey Brecht got into her first drunk-driving accident, DMV records show, and her license was suspended for a year. During that year, she drove a friend's car anyway, her mother, Laura, said in an interview, and was involved in a second drunk-driving accident. Again, DMV records show, her license was suspended for a year. She also went into court-ordered counseling, her mother said.
In February, Brecht, who lives with her parents in Seal Beach, hit the road once more, borrowing her dad's Ford Explorer for a trip to Mammoth Lakes with two friends. She had regained her license nine months earlier, and according to the Mono County prosecutor now charging her with second-degree murder, she admitted that she and her friends started drinking soon after their trip started. Several miles from their destination, the Explorer veered off the road onto a grassy median, then rolled several times, according to the prosecutor. Jennifer Bammer, a 22-year-old Laguna Beach woman in the back seat, was thrown from the car and instantly killed. Another passenger was briefly hospitalized.