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Cheerleader's fatal injuries after crash described in court

October 10, 2011 |  5:40 am

A photo of Ashton Sweet is displayed at the church before her memorial service

A 14-year-old cheerleader clung to life with the faintest pulse after a man accused of drunk driving plowed into the car she was riding in over Memorial Day weekend, a witness testified Thursday in the Harbor Justice Center.

A passerby checked on an unconscious Ashton Sweet after the crash but felt no pulse, said Irvine police Officer Tim McDonald.

Sweet's body was limp in the woman's arms. McDonald assisted and laid Sweet onto the curb. He said he felt a faint pulse and shallow breathing before paramedics arrived and attended to her.

Days later, Sweet died in a hospital after her family chose to take her off life support and donate her organs.

Austin Jeffrey Farley, 26, of Irvine was arrested in connection with the May 29 incident at the intersection of Culver Drive and Irvine Boulevard that left Sweet and four others injured, according to the Daily Pilot.

Farley, who prosecutors allege was driving his pickup truck drunk, was described as "dazed and confused" that early morning. Police said at the scene Farley had bloodshot, watery eyes, that he smelled of alcohol and moved slowly and deliberately.


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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: A photo of Ashton Sweet is displayed at the church before her memorial service. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times