Isaac Tre Payne
Suspect Isaac Tre Payne placed in handcuffs last Friday morning. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A man accused of driving drunk on a freeway in Lemon Grove and killing another driver in a high-speed crash pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that include gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Isaac Tre Payne, 26, is accused in Friday morning’s crash that killed 25-year-old El Cajon resident Leslie Nunez Rosas.

At Payne’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Lynn Crum said that at around 8:25 a.m. Friday, Payne struck Rosas’ car on westbound state Route 94, which sent it into a callbox near the College Avenue off-ramp.

Rosas’ car then went airborne and overturned. She was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Crum said witnesses estimated Payne’s car was going up to 100 mph prior to the crash.

According to the prosecutor, Payne drove off at high speeds after the crash and exited at Kelton Road, where he struck three parked cars. When officers stopped him, Crum said he ran from his car but was detained by police, who “smelled an overwhelming odor of alcohol on his person.” He denied drinking and said he last consumed alcohol the night before, according to the prosecutor, who said Payne had a .098% blood-alcohol content about four hours after the fatal crash.

Payne was ordered held without bail. He faces up to 15 years in state prison if convicted of all counts.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock