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Acampo teen could face charges in crash that killed two

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Posted: Monday, October 24, 2005 10:00 pm

A 17-year-old Acampo youth will likely face charges related to a weekend vehicle accident that killed the son of a prominent local defense attorney, as well as a Rio Vista police officer.

The teen, who is not being identified by the News-Sentinel because of his age and because charges have not been filed, was driving back from a high school football game with several friends Friday night. At 11:04 p.m., he crossed over double yellow lines to pass a big rig just west of Highway 113, between Fairfield and Rio Vista, California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Koehne said.

The teen's Chevy Tahoe collided head-on with a Ford Taurus driven by David Frank Lamoree, a Rio Vista police officer who had just been married. Lamoree died of massive head injuries Sunday, the day he turned 26.

Also killed in the crash was Vincent Albert Ellis, who was riding as a passenger in the front seat of the teen's sport-utility vehicle. The 18-year-old Stockton resident was the youngest son of prominent defense attorney Albert Ellis.

He was student body president at Brookside Christian High School in Stockton and had a 4.0 grade-point average, said Mike Hakeem, a partner in Albert Ellis' law office.

The teen, who liked going out to eat at fine restaurants, was only attending Friday's football game to support his school, though he did play baseball. Last spring, it was his hit that put the team into the playoffs, Hakeem said.

The Ellis family was in seclusion Monday with friends, family members and their pastor, Hakeem said.

Albert Ellis is known for defending public officials and figures. Among his past clients are Michael Platt, a San Joaquin County judge who was removed from the bench for fixing tickets, and former Lodi High School Athletic Director Andy Wolfe, who was accused of misusing funds, though charges were soon dropped. Other clients include firefighters, Manteca city council members and a priest.

The weekend tragedy hit hard for Brookside's remaining 126 students, whose homecoming week began Monday.

Pastors from several churches spoke Monday morning with students at the private school. Classes later resumed, though counselors remained available for students, Activities Director Maryann Myers said.

The teen driver and his other passengers, Stockton residents Britney Lopez and Robert Scott, both 18, had complaints of pain after the collision and were taken to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Koehne said. A hospital spokeswoman said Monday that Lopez and Scott were treated and discharged, but she could not find any information on the driver.

All five people involved in the collision were wearing their seat belts, and the crash remains under investigation, Koehne said Monday, adding that it was too early to determine whether officers would recommend that the Solano County District Attorney's Office file charges.

Vincent Ellis is survived by his parents, Albert and Helen Ellis, and his older brother, Michael, a sophomore at St. Mary's College.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton, and a mass will be held there at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at DeYoung Shoreline Chapel, 7676 Shoreline Drive, Stockton. Burial will be private.

Donations may be made to the Vincent Ellis Memorial Scholarship fund at Brookside Christian High School, 915 Rose Marie Lane, Stockton, 95207.

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

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