Local News

Alleged Wrong-Way Driver Charged With Murder in 14 Fwy Crash

LANCASTER, Calif. (KTLA) –A Burbank man was charged with two counts of murder on Tuesday after he allegedly slammed his pick-up truck into an oncoming car on the 14 Freeway.

Bradford Pate, 38,  was also charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI.

The accident happened early Saturday morning on the 14 Freeway near Escondido Canyon Road in Acton.

Pate was allegedly driving his Toyota Tundra south in the northbound lanes when he slammed head-on into a car driven by Dr. Manard Giles, 77, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Giles, pastor of The Answer Community Church of God in Christ in Lancaster, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in Giles’ car, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, later died at the hospital. A third passenger was also injured.

The pastor and his companions were on their way back from a church function in San Diego, family members said.

Pate remained hospitalized on Tuesday.

He was convicted of DUI in 2007 in Ventura County, Deputy District Attorney Karen Rizzo said. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Another driver traveling the wrong way on the 14 Freeway in Agua Dulce caused a multi-car pile-up just days before.

The CHP said drugs or alcohol were a factor in that accident as well.

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