Victim's Family Struggles to Cope Following Davies Accident
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Jan Roberta thought nothing of it when her daughter didn't answer the phone.
"I got up that Tuesday morning and went to the gym," says Roberta. "When I got done, I called Ashley to wake her up for breakfast. She didn't answer her phone. I thought maybe she forgot."
Roberta found out a couple hours later why her daughter never answered. Ashley Roberta was killed in an early morning crash Oct. 13 that also critically injured U.S. national soccer team member Charlie Davies.
The Infiniti SUV driven by Ashley's friend, Maria Espinoza, was so mangled in the wreck that it's taken weeks to reconstruct what occurred around 2:30 AM ET. There were no skid marks to estimate how fast Espinoza was going when the car left George Washington Parkway.
Court documents released in December claim the unnamed driver -- who FanHouse learned was Espinoza -- had alcohol on her breath. The U.S. Park Police, the agency investigating the wreck, has not released Espinoza's blood alcohol level and the police report has yet to been made public.
Peter Carr, spokesman for the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said that the case is still "in the investigation phase" and no decision has been made to prosecute Espinoza, who sustained minor injuries and was released from the hospital a few hours after the accident.
"She's functioning about as well as can be expected," says Robert M. Schwartzman, Espinoza's lawyer. "She is certainly distraught over the loss of a dear friend and the injury to the young man. She is extremely upset about the entire situation. She's very sorry for the families of the other folks involved."
Schwartzman said he doesn't know of any pending charges against his client.
Davies, 23, was supposed to play a day later against Costa Rica at nearby RFK Stadium when he met up with Espinoza and Roberta, who just finished a shift pitching Red Bull at Washington bars. The three left the Shadow Room in northwest D.C. around 1:30 AM, although it was not known where they were going.
Davies could not be reached for comment.
Just before the accident, court papers claimed Ashley Roberta yelled, "Watch out" before the car struck a guard rail. Authorities said, in the court papers first reported by the Washington Post, that they are using the car's GPS system to help determine how fast they were going. Metal experts have also been brought in to help judge Espinoza's car speed.
A couple came upon the scene, according to Jan Roberta, and called 911 at 2:34 AM.
Davies lay in a hospital bed after five hours of surgery with an injured bladder and several broken bones as his teammates tied Costa Rica, 2-2. Roberta, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene of the horrifying single-car crash that sliced the luxury SUV in half.
Jan Roberta along with her husband, Mike, saw the car days later in an impound lot.
"Looking at it, you had to walk around it four or five times to put it all together in your mind," Jan Roberta says. "You see two pieces of the car, it broken in half. You can't even mentally picture how that happened. It's impossible to figure out. It was brutal. Absolutely brutal."
Family and friends understand why the focus of news stories has been Davies, a forward who was slated to be a cog in this year's World Cup for Team USA. They, however, feel that people didn't get a glimpse of the only life taken in the wreck.
"Nobody knows her story," says Jennie Morgan, one of Ashley's best friends dating to their freshman year at a Baltimore all-girls Catholic high school. "I feel sorry for the soccer player and the fact he may have lost his entire career. I have no bitterness towards him."
Roberta was very much the goofball, Morgan says, and didn't mind going for the cheap laugh that would embarrass others.
"She thought some of the grossest things were funny even though she was one of the prettiest girls in school," Morgan says. "We'd die laughing. We'd ask, 'What's wrong with you?' She was so carefree."
Their track coach at Mercy High playfully accused both Morgan and Roberta of only joining the team for bikini season. Roberta, however, was also a good student. After a short stint at the University of Tennessee, she transferred to the University of Maryland, where she graduated last spring and planned on attending law school. At College Park, she met Espinoza.
Espinoza's parents are both physicians. Her father, Igor Espinoza-Delgado, is a senior investigator of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program at the National Institutes of Health. Her mother works at an area hospital.
Outside of a couple condolence cards, Jan Roberta says Espinoza and her family have had no contact with them.
"They say they are genuinely sorry about our loss," Jan Roberta says. "She (Maria Espinoza) hasn't called. That's upsetting since the blood is on her hands."