SANTA CLARITA, California (June 22, 2013) – Manard Giles Jr., 77, a pastor at The Answer Community Church, was killed and two others injured early Saturday when an alleged drunk driver drove the wrong way on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and struck the man’s vehicle head on, according to the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Coroner.
Giles, who was driving his 2006 Chrysler 300 home following a church retreat in San Diego, was struck by an alleged drunk driver, Bradford E. Pate, 38, of Burbank. Pate entered the northbound lanes of the freeway about 3:30 a.m. and drove head on into Giles and his passengers in the Chrysler. The crash took place just south of Escondido Canyon Road.
One of the passengers riding in the Chrysler with Giles was critically injured. Lennard A. Wilds, 47, of Lancaster, was taken by ambulance to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
A second passenger in the Chrysler was Matty Ferguson. She was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Burbank where she was placed on life support.
Pate, who caused the wrong-way crash, reportedly suffered major injuries. Paramedics transported him by ambulance to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital where he was scheduled to undergo surgery. Police placed him under arrest while at the hospital.
Police closed down all of the northbound lanes of the 14 Freeway near the crash and issued a SigAlert between 3:42 a.m. through 8 a.m., CHP said.
Indeed, this was the second wrong-way crash on the same stretch of freeway this past week. On Monday, June 17, a driver who was under the influence of methamphetamines crashed into eight vehicles and injured 13 people about 4:36 p.m. Three of those injured were listed in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
“The drivers responsible for these crashes will face criminal charges and hopefully will never have an opportunity to cause this type of tragedy again,” said Attorney West Thomas. “There is no excuse for driving drunk. My condolences to the family of Mr. Giles and to those who were injured in this terrible crash.”
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