A jury convicted a San Clemente man of murder Monday for a DUI crash that killed a 10-year-old Hillsborough girl and seriously injured the girl’s sister and father on the 405 Freeway in Seal Beach three years ago, authorities said.
Adam John Kanas, 39, was found guilty of second-degree murder and two counts of driving under the influence of drugs resulting in great bodily injury in connection with the Aug. 15, 2016, crash that killed 10-year-old Kendra Geddis, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement. Authorities previously described the girl as 7 years old. Her father and older sister survived the collision, in which Kanas suffered minor injuries.
Investigators found he was under the influence of drugs, described by prosecutors as central nervous system depressants, at the time of the crash, which took place about 9:20 a.m. on the the 405 Freeway near Seal Beach Boulevard.
Kanas, who already had prior convictions for DUI and burglary, faces up to 41 years to life in state prison when he returns to Orange County Superior Court for sentencing on Jan. 10, officials said.
“Kanas was driving his 2013 Chevy Tahoe erratically at speeds of nearly 80 mph,” according to the D.A.’s Office statement. “He swerved across multiple lanes and the double yellow line into the carpool lane on northbound I-405 near the Seal Beach Boulevard exit.”
The Tahoe plowed into the rear of a Tesla being driven by a Hillsborough man, with his two daughters asleep in the back seat, officials said. The SUV was traveling an estimated 68 mph at the moment of impact and forced the Tesla into a Honda Civic that was in front of it.
Because Kanas had a prior DUI conviction, he was eligible to be charged with murder in connection with the fatal 2016 crash.
“Choosing to get behind the wheel after you have been drinking or using drugs is a choice that can have deadly consequences,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “That decision cost a 10-year-old girl her life – and cost her family a lifetime of memories with their little girl.”
“Drugged driving is up more than 120 percent in Orange County over the last five years and it has to stop,” Spitzer said.