IRVINE (CBS) — Ashton Sweet, 14, was declared dead Tuesday, according to Irvine police.

The teen was in a Mercedes with three other friends, one of whom was also critically injured, when their car was hit by an alleged drunk driver.

The suspect, Austin Farley, 26, was arrested shortly after the crash. He pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in 2009. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license and refused to submit to a test for driving under the influence. He has also been convicted of speeding, possessing alcohol by a minor, grand theft, vandalism and several violations of court orders.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz Reports

Friends of Ashton Sweet have been gathering at the scene of Sunday’s crash, which sent the Northwood High School student to the hospital in very grave condition. Students at Northwood High School wore white to school Tuesday as a sign of sympathy.

Krista Meresa, 14, is now able to walk and her feeding tube was removed, according to her cousin.

Comments (23)
  1. amber says:

    why the hell was this idiot out his ass should of been in jail for the other charges of dui hell goverment wake up because inncocnt people are being killed for your ignorance an lack of work my prayers go out the families

    1. Not really the time for an English lesson, Dufus. I think people get the jist of what Amber was saying.

    2. Irvinemom00 says:

      Amber- its very hard to deal with her loss. I am sure he was in a category as a “non-violent offender”. Since our state seems fit to give criminals more rights than honest citizens I am sure we will see more innocent people killed.

      1. duh says:

        Non-violent offender? You obviously haven’t seen his rap-sheet. He’s pretty much known for his violence and disdain for law. Multiple batterys (while also violating a restraining order), assault on a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon (other than a gun). This is all in ADDITION to his previous DUI case(s).

        Ashton’s life was in the hands of every judge that dealt with this cretin in the last 3 years or so. They failed her. I wish they all had to spend some time in Austin’s prison cell once he finally gets there.

        Non-violent… lol…

    3. Chris says:

      As long as Alcohol continues to be sold…these tragedies will NEVER STOP!! How Many Fatal DUI accidents are you all aware of…I am not just talking about here in the US….As long as drinking Alcohol exist…Then you are all going to have to live with the consequences…Banning it will NEVER happen….But stop Smoking because that is killing people……And someone said that the alcohol is not to blame???? If someone who is drinking and doesn’t give a F…. about his life, decides to take a ride……whats causing him to crash….the car? the driver? or….the alcohol!!?? It’s an addiction! it ruins families……It kills! be it DUI or Liver cancer…..Alcohol’s not to blame??? give me a break!

      1. Aisha says:

        Alcohol isn’t to blame. The blame lies 100% with the person who doesn’t drink it responsibly. Plenty of people are able to drink alcohol and make the decision not to drive drunk. He could have easily taken a cab or had a designated driver. If we want to place blame, the first place I’d look is this person’s apparently poor upbringing, in which he wasn’t taught responsibility. I’d also look at the legal system that let this person get away with 2 (or is it 3) prior instances of driving under the influence.

  2. cloudnine says:

    Agree with all the above!!! BTW to Amber I see & feel your anger in your comment. YOU are so right. Why is the A**on the streets. I guess the policy is WAIT UNTIL YOU KILL SOMEONE!!!
    My heart breaks for this family. May they seek into God for strength…

  3. Mr. Ed says:

    You can stop by my house any time, Amber.

  4. Erik says:

    Damn Caucasians continue to kill more US citizens! Send them back to Europe! I feel bad for the parents and relatives that have to deal with this. Sad day

    1. Diddy says:

      Get off your mom’s computer and go back to bed. You have school in the morning.

    2. mr.ed's cousin says:

      thats right!!! send them back to europe and sink thier ships before they enter this great nation that was orignally owned by the native americans

  5. Mary Elizabeth says:

    In Memory of Ashton Sweet – what a sad day for everyone who knew her. I have never met Ashton, but I have been following this story since the day it broke. It breaks my heart that this little girl had to die of such a senseless death. This man who killed this girl could have been my own son – we don’t know what our kids are capable of and I would hope with all my life that my son would never drink and get behind a wheel – but it could happen. It could happen to me, and it could happen to you. My heart goes out to both families. Though it mourns me to see a young man go to prison for years, I well understand that justice has to be served. When I first saw that his bail was set at $100,000 I was absolutely shocked. Today I read that his bail is now set at $1,000,000 – he won’t be bailing himself out of jail anytime soon. May God be with Aston’s parents, and may God give Austin Farley’s parents the strength to endure his upcoming trial. To the parents/relatives, and friends of Ashton Sweet: I am terribly, terribly sorry for your loss – I can’t imagine what you are all going through. May God give you the strength to endure such a terrible tragic loss.

    To follow up with other’s that have commented: My cousin has 3-4 DUI’s. Her recent one which was approximately 2 years ago put her in jail for 4 days and she was given a VERY HEFTY fine. Though she is my cousin, I do NOT think that 4 days in jail was an appropriate punishment. FOR NOW she has not been behind the wheel while intoxicated; however, she is still drinking. Sigh. I don’t know what can be done to stop this – it has gone on way too long – and I just don’t understand how anyone with more than one DUI is let off so easily. If anyone who is reading this article has been arrested for DUI – share your story with us; the punishment, are you still drinking, the fines imposed by the courts, etc. I am interested in hearing what punishments were given for those arrested for DUI.

    What a sad day, a very sad day.

    1. fed up says:

      I made the mistake of drinking and driving, and I learned my lesson big time. My wife kept telling me that I was going to get nailed, and hopefully would not hurt anyone in the process. She even called the cops on me one night, but they wouldnt do anything because I was already home and my car was on my property. (So please do not blame my wife!) I feel fortunate that I DID get a DUI. It cost me $15K, my job, and my self respect. I spent 1 night in jail (first DUI) and was embarrassed beyond belief. I was pushing 50 when that happened, 6 years ago. I still drink and go to the bars, but I DO NOT DRIVE. My DUI was a life-changing, life-saving event. It is what people make of it.
      This thug just keeps thumbing his nose at the law. Not everyone is as irresponsible as he is. May he rot in Hell for taking this young life.

  6. Jerry says:

    With the way the court works in LA this guy will be out on the streets in 3 to 6 months, Sad.

  7. Chris says:

    …and WHY dont they show HIS FACE????

  8. Jst another girl says:

    As long as theres parking spaces at bars and alcohol sold till 2am these tragedies are gonna happen. Then this dumb f**k is out and I guess the court and state had to see a tragedy happen to make it clear. My condolences to her family and friends,,,, Rest In Peace Ashton ❤

  9. john says:

    One partial solution to keeping DUI’s down: Keep the bars/clubs open till 4am. Yes, you heard me right. Stop serving alcohol at 2am and let the patrons drink non-alcoholic drinks until the club closes at 4am. This prevents a ‘last call’ rush to the bar for drinks to pound and then the immediate release to your cars. This will also prevent fights since the club goers will leave at different times…not all would like to stay open until 4am.

    1. hot promoter says:

      good call john being a club promoter ive done that at a few places ive done and have to say there is $$ to be made and lives to be saves because staying open til 4am does give the ones too much to drink sometime to sober up, at a few places ive done they even started selling food around 1am and served coffee, but the reason alot of clubs close at 2am is alot of cities dont like the this places open for too long because residents complain. so they you have that made dash at the bar at the 1:30 last call.

  10. Smash Crasher says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. You liberal morons ranting and raving “he should have never been out,” make me vomit. You continually and blindly vote Democratic for every office in this state, constantly electing uber-lib politicians and officials who would rather rehabilitate than incarcerate and now you squeal and whine like three-year-old brats. Look in the mirror. YOU are as much to blame as anybody. Just keep pulling that “D” lever. As we all know, criminals in California have more rights that law-abiding citizens thanks to you voters.

  11. Just a Mom says:

    Drinking and Driving kills innocent people…this young girl did NOT deserve this, nor did her family and friends deserve to lose such a bright light in their life. I hope this guy ROTS IN HELL, his rap sheet proves he has no respect for the law or human life…he is old enough to know better.

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