As a local mother mourns the loss of her daughter, Bakersfield police continue to investigate the crash that killed her. Anna Marie Reynosa, 20, is accused of slamming into Charla Wilkins. Police say Reynosa had some alcohol in her system. So what are the repercussions for underage drinkers?
Reynosa's level, police say, was below the .08 legal limit, but when it comes to underage drinkers, California is a zero-tolerance state.
But, that's little comfort to Barbara Wilkins, Charla's mother. "I'm lost without her," she said. Barbara covered her mouth, trying to hold in the sobs, crying for the daughter she lost.
Charla was on her motorcycle Saturday night, when she was hit and killed at the corner of Jewetta Avenue and Reina Road. Witnesses tell police the driver, Reynosa, never hit the brakes.
On Tuesday, at a car wash to help with Charla's funeral expenses, Barbara told us Reynosa's mother called to say she and her daughter are sorry for what happened.
"She said that if there was any possible way that she could switch places, that she would be gone instead of Charla," said Barbara Wilkins.
Police say Reynosa had alcohol in her system the night of the crash. It was below the legal limit, but because she is below the legal drinking age, CHP officer Robert Rodriguez says California's zero-tolerance rule applies.
"If you are stopped and you have .01 amount of alcohol in your system then you will be cited and we will impound your vehicle," said Rodriguez.
Officer Rodriguez adds the DMV will also suspend the minor's driver's license for at least one year. Investigators will look into where the underage driver got the alcohol. That person, too, could face criminal charges or penalties. And, the legal ramifications continue to mount if someone was hurt or worse in a crash.
"Anytime there is a traffic-related death then, most often, they submit it to the District Attorney's office to look at for potential vehicular manslaughter charges," explained Sgt. Mary DeGeare, Bakersfield Police Department.
"Why would you get behind the wheel and not pay attention because there are so many lives on this street and my baby don't have one now," cried Barbara Wilkins.
The crash is still under investigation and Reynosa has not been charged.
An account is set up in Charla Wilkins' name at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union to help pay for her funeral.
Family and friends will be washing cars again Wednesday at 2731 Brundage Lane.