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Phoenix woman in fatal wrong-way wreck arrested after DUI crash

Delilah Castillo (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix woman who was out of jail on reduced bail while awaiting trial on murder and other charges in a fatal wrong-way DUI crash on a freeway was arrested and charged in a second DUI wreck, authorities said.

Delilah R. Castillo, 22, was initially arrested and jailed last August after being hospitalized for serious injuries from a July 30 crash that killed another driver, 20-year-old Laiquan Lemon.

Authorities said Castillo’s car was northbound in southbound lanes of Loop 101 in Glendale before the head-on collision. Other drivers had to swerve to avoid Castillo’s oncoming car, authorities said.

The latest crash involving Castillo occurred Feb. 14 when her car rear-ended another vehicle on an Interstate 17 on-ramp in north Phoenix, according to court records.

Castillo was indicted Feb. 20 on a felony charge of endangerment and four misdemeanor DUI counts, including two alleging extreme DUI.

She previously was charged in the July 30 crash with four counts of endangerment and one of second-degree murder “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life.”

Castillo was seriously injured in the July crash and not released from a rehabilitation facility and arrested until late August.

A prosecutor said during Castillo’s August initial court appearance that she had been drinking cocktails at a bar before the wreck and later had a blood-alcohol level of .171 percent, over twice Arizona’s legal limit.

It wasn’t clear when Castillo was released from jail after being arrested in the July crash but a Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner on Oct. 29 granted a defense request to reduce Castillo’s bond to $2,500 from $50,000.

The bail-reduction motion said Castillo’s family and employment ties to the community and her continued need for medical treatment meant she wasn’t a flight risk and that leg injuries she suffered in the July wreck put her in a wheelchair and unable “to drive any motor vehicle, ensuring public safety …”

Prosecutors opposed the defense request, saying Castillo did pose a flight risk and that there wasn’t any indication that Castillo “will be permanently confined to a wheelchair nor would that eliminate her ability to flee or drive.”

A police probable cause statement said Castillo had begged the other driver in the Feb. 14 crash to not call the police before she got back into her car and then struck the other driver’s car a second time and a barrier wall as she drove off.

The other driver followed Castillo’s car until it became disabled about a mile from the crash site and state troopers then arrested Castillo after she showed signs of impairment, the statement said.

The other driver suffered back injuries and muscle strains, the statement said.

The Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office represents Castillo. An office spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment regarding the allegations.

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