FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The tow-truck driver who allegedly drove through a red light and crashed into the side of another vehicle at a Fresno intersection in April has been charged by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office – more than six months after the incident took place.
The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. on April 12 on Friant Road. The collision claimed the life of 22-year-old Amaya Chenot of Fresno.
Charging documents against the man alleged to have been driving the tow truck, 53-year-old John Ashcraft, were filed in Fresno County Superior Court on October 17. The documents show he was charged with two felony counts and two infractions.
WARNING: This video provided by Friant Roulette below is graphic and shows the deadly crash taking place.
The charges listed are:
- Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drug while causing injury
- Failure to stop at a red light
- Driving without a valid license
According to the Fresno Police Department and the criminal complaint, on April 12, John Herbert Ashcraft was driving a tow truck at Friant Road and Shepherd Avenue. He went through a red light and collided with a car, causing the death of 22-year-old Amaya Chenot of Fresno.
After the crash happened, no criminal charges were immediately filed against Ashcraft, prompting the family of the victim to file a civil complaint. The complaint alleged the driver of the tow truck, who was employed by a company called 1st Class Tow, had taken a controlled substance within 24 hours before the crash that killed Chenot. An aggravating factor listed on the charging documents filed in October does state that “the level of methamphetamine in the system of John Herbert Ashcraft was especially high and in the potentially toxic range.”
Court records show he also has a warrant out for his arrest. According to the DA’s office, the warrant is to get jurisdiction over a defendant and get them into court to appear at an arraignment either voluntarily – or after being arrested and brought to court. Court records show an arraignment has not yet taken place.