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Highway 14 'wrong-way' driver charged with murder

Second victim dies of injuries from Saturday collision

Posted: June 25, 2013 2:54 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2013 4:40 p.m.

A man identified as the wrong-way driver in Saturday’s fatal multi-vehicle crash on Highway 14 was charged Tuesday with murder, according to prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

Bradford Pate, 38, of Burbank was charged with two counts of murder and other charges for allegedly slamming his pickup truck into oncoming traffic while traveling southbound in the Highway 14 northbound lanes, spokeswoman Jane Robison.

One driver was dead at the scene of the crash around 3:30 a.m. Saturday just south of Escondido Canyon Road. A second victim died late Monday, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Besides murder, Pate, who remains at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, was also charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and DUI over .08 percent alcohol causing injury.

Investigators say he entered the freeway’s northbound lanes by way of the off-ramp at Escondido Canyon Road. The ramp was clearly marked with “wrong way” and “do not enter” signs.

Giles’ pickup truck slammed head-on into a Chrisler driven by the Rev. Manard Giles, 77.

The Quartz Hill minister was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in his car, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, of Lancaster, died Monday night. A third passenger in the minister’s vehicle was trapped in the car until rescuers could free him.

Deputy District Attorney Karen Rizzo said prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $3 million for Pate, who was convicted of DUI in 2007 in Ventura County.

If convicted, Pate faces up to life in prison.
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