San Marcos Teen Pleads Guilty in Crash That Killed Classmate

July 17, 2019

A San Marcos teenager has entered a guilty plea to gross vehicular manslaughter in the case of a Mission Hills High School student who was struck and killed less than a mile from the school.

The juvenile suspect entered the plea Wednesday and in exchange, the charges of reckless driving causing great bodily injury and murder were dropped. The teenager faces a maximum sentence of six years in the juvenile system. He will be formally sentenced on July 31.

Mission Hills High School senior Lauren Wolford was killed May 12, 2018 while walking on a sidewalk along E. Mission Road. It was a Saturday and Wolford was walking from a nearby convenience store to the campus for dance practice, according to classmates.

A black BMW traveled off the road and onto the sidewalk, striking the teenager.

“It has utterly destroyed all of us. I cannot express with words what this has done to us,” Lauren’s father Mark Wolford said.

The defense attorney says their client dropped his phone while driving and briefly looked down. As he started to swerve, he accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake.

“I don’t think you ever get a clear resolution in regards to the loss of a child. I think you just keep going on this express loop of pain and you handle each thing you handle with as much dignity and grace and love that you have for you children possible, and I just keep doing it,” Lauren’s mother Deborah Wolford said.

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