The Honda Accord was traveling south on Midland Road about 4 a.m. when the eastbound emergency vehicle collided with it at Poway Road and pushed it into a roadside light pole, according to sheriff’s officials.
The three people in the fire engine were unhurt and came to the aid of the driver and his passenger, Evelyn Courtney, who died from her injuries at the scene despite the lifesaving attempts, Lt. Jeff Duckworth said.
The nature of the relationship between Courtney — an aspiring fashion model who was unmarried and lived with her parents in Poway — and Gillespie was not immediately clear.
The personnel staffing the fire engine told investigators they had entered the street crossing on a green light, with their overhead emergency lights activated.
An open alcoholic beverage container was found in the crumpled Accord, according to Duckworth.
“Investigators are looking into the possibility that drugs and/or alcohol may have been a factor in the collision,” Duckworth said.
The intersection remained closed for investigations and cleanup until shortly after 11 a.m., prompting a traffic alert for the heavily traveled area.