Suspected DUI driver charged in Shaver Lake death

September 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Seven months after an alleged drunk driver killed Jaysen Wright, the driver is finally facing criminal charges.

Twenty-year-old Morgan Brown is now facing four felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The victim's family is hoping most of all that their tragedy can serve as a deterrent to drunk driving.

Morgan Brown bailed out of jail almost seven months ago and went home to her family, her job, and her life.

Jaysen Wright's family knows he'll never come home again, and they're relieved that Brown can now be held accountable.

On the side of Highway 168, a "J" marks the spot where Jaysen Wright died. The yellow messages are the only sign that something horrible happened here. But two-and-a-half miles down the road, CHP officers found several clues.

In an arrest warrant issued this week, they say Morgan Brown rolled her SUV off an embankment. Evidence on the vehicle connected it to wright's death. But it took almost seven months for brown to face criminal charges.

"I personally am very relieved," said Jaysen's stepmother Joni Wright. "I think that it's best to, it's best for even Morgan to be held accountable for what we do."

Wright's family waited patiently for the charges, focusing on the time they'd gotten to spend with Jaysen. The outdoorsman was a stay-at-home dad with two boys shadowing him on most days, and a favorite uncle to nieces and nephews. He grew distant from his father for a while, but that changed drastically just months before his death.

"They'd come around now and then, but then I got diagnosed with cancer and he started coming," said Mike Wright, Jaysen Wright's father.

When he composed himself, he said we all suffer consequences for our choices, but what he'll always remember are the choices Jaysen was making in the days before he died. "And he started coming around more," Mike Wright said. "Helped me a lot."

Chores like whacking weeds and getting the family ready to move from their Tollhouse home would've been Jaysen's territory. Instead, they're now Jaysen's memories.

"It was neat a very neat thing to have him for a son and Mike was very proud of him," said Joni Wright.

The arrest warrant says Brown's blood alcohol content was .Sixteen percent when she was arrested at least four hours after the crash that killed Wright. But her attorney tells said Wright was also drunk and was wearing dark clothing at 3 a.m. on a part of the road with almost no shoulder.

Brown is now scheduled to appear in court in two weeks.


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