Suspect in 2014 fatal DUI crash that killed a pregnant woman appears in court
REDDING, Calif. - Robert Frederick, 39, was arraigned in a Shasta County courtroom Tuesday on two charges of murder in the second degree, among other DUI related charges and allegations, after a crash in 2014 that left a pregnant woman and her unborn child dead.
The crash took place on July 25, 2014 on westbound Highway 44, east of Tompata Trail, when officials say Frederick lost control of the vehicle he was driving, causing it to go off the road, roll, and then burst into flames.
Officials said Kevin Rawlins and Jennifer Jones, who were also in the vehicle, were able to escape with minor and moderate injuries but Dorlis Jean Lauri, who was 29 at the time, and her unborn son were killed.
Frederick suffered major injuries in the crash.
Lauri's family said she and the other three people in the vehicle were on their way from Weaverville to buy maternity clothes in Redding. Lauri's stepmother, Marilyn Overturf, said Lauri didn't know how to drive.
"She took a ride to go shopping and lost her life," said Mary Collins, Lauri's mother.
Lauri's family said the timing of the crash was especially unfortunate because she was making progress after struggling for much of her life.
"She was just starting to turn her life around. [Dorlis] was into drugs pretty good, but the last 5, 6, or 7 months she was pretty clean," said her father, Walter Overturf.
"She was going through parenting classes, alcohol and drug classes. She was straightening her life out," Collins said.
Lauri's family said she was living in Weaverville when the crash happened after recently moving from Hayfork to help her fight her drug addiction.
Lauri is survived by her three children who were 10, 12, and 13-years-old at the time of the crash.
The Shasta County District Attorney's Office said Frederick's bail was set at $1 million and his next court date is set for January 5.