News

Authorities identify teens killed by alleged DUI driver in High Desert crash

Suspect had warrant out for DUI violation

MORONGO VALLEY, Calif.- - Authorities have released the identities of the two teenagers killed in a crash caused by an alleged drunk driver in the High Desert last week.

Last Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on State Route 62, west of Rosella Drive, in Morongo Valley, a speeding car driven by a driver allegedly under the influence crashed into a Prius as it was making a left turn, according to a report by the California Highway Patrol. The two backseat passengers in the Prius, a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, were killed in the crash. 

A CHP collision report indicated everyone involved in the crash was wearing seat belts.

The San Bernardino County Coroner's Office confirmed 14-year-old Hart Madison Campbell of Los Angeles was pronounced dead at Loma Linda University Medical Center Thursday at 8:09 p.m.

The Riverside County Coroner's Office confirmed the second victim, 17-year-old Ruby Campbell,  was pronounced dead Thursday at 12:01 a.m. at Desert Regional Medical Center.

Hart and Rudy's father, Colin Peter Campbell, 49, suffered major injuries in the crash while their mother, Gail Deborah Lerner, 49, was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

Lerner is credited as a longtime writer and executive producer for the ABC series, "Black-ish." She is also credited for her work on shows like "Ugly Betty" and "Will & Grace." Actress Reese Witherspoon's website "Hello Sunshine" profiled Gail Lerner for her work on Black-ish.

 

 

Lerner is a founding member of the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, which provides mentoring and residency programs for at-risk youth in the Los Angeles Area. Melissa Denton, Executive Director of the Unusual Suspects, said Lerner and Campbell worked as teaching artists and volunteers for Unusual Suspects most recently.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and program participants," wrote Denton. "The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company is deeply saddened to hear about the tragic accident involving Gail Lerner and Colin Campbell and the devastating loss of their Children.  Pillars in the community, Gail and Colin have been tireless champions of our work, and we are grateful for their unwavering commitment.  We can't imagine how difficult this is for Gail & Colin and offer our deepest sympathies to them, their family and friends.  They are in our thoughts and prayers."  

The alleged DUI driver, Nicole Rachel Packer, 33, suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized, according to the CHP. Officials from San Bernardino County court services confirmed to News Channel 3 on Friday​​​​​​ that Packer shouldn't have been driving at all.

Packer was driving with a suspended license during last week's crash and has a history of DUI offenses dating back to 2012, according to court records. That year, she was convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence. In 2013, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI and had the terms of her probation extended. In 2015, she was convicted for driving on a license suspended for DUI for which she had her probation extended to August 2019 after Packer failed to meet the terms of her plea bargain.

Packer had a $5,000 warrant out for her arrest at the time of last week's crash for "violating the terms of her probation stemming from another drunk driving conviction."

The CHP report last week noted that Packer was arrested for "felony driving under the influence, causing injury." Packer has yet to be booked into jail due to her injuries.

CHP continues to investigate the crash, Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.


Download the KESQ News Channel app on iTunes or Google Play for up-to-the-minute breaking news alerts & more

More: Today’s Top Stories

First Alert Forecast

More: I-Team investigations

Find us on Facebook: KESQ News Channel 3 

Follow us on Twitter for breaking news updates: @KESQ  

We’re on Instagram! @KESQ_News_Channel_3

Watch live newscasts

Noticias en español: Telemundo 15

comments powered by Disqus

First Alert Weather

Sponsor or Powered by

Recommended Stories

Most Popular Stories

Photo Galleries