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Courteney and her 4-year-old daughter Amaya Taylor were killed in a suspected DUI crash in Fallbrook. Courtesy photo
Courteney and her 4-year-old daughter Amaya Taylor were killed in a suspected DUI crash earlier this month in Fallbrook. Courtesy photo
CitiesCrimeCrimeNewsRegionSan Marcos

Community mourns San Marcos mother, child killed in suspected DUI crash

SAN MARCOS — Family and friends are mourning the loss of a San Marcos woman and her young daughter killed in a suspected DUI crash in Fallbrook earlier this month.

Courteney Taylor, 29, and her 4-year-old daughter Amaya were driving southbound on Interstate 15 on April 23 when they were struck head-on by a motorist who lost control of his truck and drove through a gate and into oncoming traffic.

The driver, 23-year-old Erick Arambula, also struck another car, causing minor injuries to three individuals, and he suffered significant injuries.

Arambula was fleeing a California Fish and Wildlife officer who attempted to pull him over for speeding just before the collision, according to NBC 7.

A GoFundMe created by Courteney’s family, which has raised over $38,000 for funeral costs, describes Courteney as “a living angel” and Amaya as “our family’s guiding light.”

Courteney and her family moved to San Marcos from Illinois as a young teen. She attended local schools, including Woodland Park Middle School, High Tech High and Escondido Charter High School, according to a social media post by her mother, Barbara Taylor.

She earned her associate of arts degree from Palomar College and was a few weeks from graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology when she died.

“We are shattered by the loss of our beautiful, funny, kind, and loving daughter Courteney and her smart, full of life and laughter, gentle, and beautiful 4-year-old daughter, Amaya,” Barbara said. “There are so many people who have reached out that we didn’t know but were lives that she had touched in both small and big ways. Courteney loved people, and she instilled that in Amaya.”

Arambula is facing seven felony charges: two counts each of gross vehicular manslaughter, evading a police officer causing death and reckless driving causing death, and driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.

Arambula was arraigned from his hospital bed on April 26. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 9 at the Vista Courthouse.

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