A San Clemente man was sentenced Friday to 24 years to life for killing a 10-year-old girl in a 405 Freeway crash while high on central nervous system depressants, prosecutors said.
Adam John Kanas, 39, was driving erratically at nearly 80 mph when he swerved across multiple lanes and slammed into a father driving with his two daughters in Seal Beach in August 2016, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Donald Geddis was slowing for traffic with the girls, 10-year-old Kendra and 13-year-old Kayla, asleep in the back seat as Kanas’ 2013 Chevy Tahoe rear-ended their Tesla in the northbound carpool lane near the Seal Beach Boulevard exit around 9:20 a.m.
Kanas’ SUV was traveling about 68 mph when it made impact and propelled the Tesla into a Honda Civic.
Kendra Geddis died in the crash, while her sister and father were seriously injured. First responders treated Kanas at the scene for minor injuries.
The defendant was previously convicted of driving under the influence and first-degree burglary in Los Angeles County, authorities said. Because of the prior DUI offense, prosecutors were able to charge him with murder in the Seal Beach crash.
Last September, a jury found Kanas guilty of second-degree murder and felony drugged driving. He also received two sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury.
Investigators did not release specifics on the substances in Kanas’ system. Central nervous system depressants are drugs typically used for treating anxiety and sleep disorders, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates and hypnotics, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.