News Releases

October 2, 2015: Wrong-Way Driver Sentenced to 23 Years to Life for 14 Freeway Crash

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A Tujunga man was sentenced today to 23 years to life in state prison after being convicted of murder for a 2013 DUI wrong-way crash on the Antelope Valley Freeway, the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced.

Bradford Pate, 40, pleaded no contest on July 13 to two counts each of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count each of DUI causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol content of over .08% causing injury.

On June 22, 2013, shortly before 3:30 a.m., Pate drove his pickup truck southbound in the northbound lanes of the freeway, prosecutors said. The defendant’s truck crashed head-on into a car driven by Manard Giles, 77, of Quartz Hill, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in Giles’ car, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, of Lancaster, died later, according to evidence presented in court.  A second passenger in the victim’s vehicle, was seriously injured and remained trapped in the car until rescuers could later free him, prosecutors said.

The case was handled by Deputy District Attorneys Mykka Piantanida and Brian Chang.

The California Highway Patrol investigated the incident.