A Burbank man charged with murder after he allegedly drove the wrong way on Highway 14 and caused a crash that killed two people pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Bradford E. Pate, 38, of Burbank, sustained injuries in the crash, which caused him to miss his first few hearing dates.
Pate is facing two murder charges, a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a DUI causing injury and the charge of a DUI with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent causing injury.
Pate will be back in court Sept. 25 for a preliminary setting, where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to hold Pate over for trial.
Pate is being charged with killing the Rev. Manard Giles, and Mattie Lee Ferguson.
If convicted, Pate faces up to life in prison.
Rev. Manard Giles
Officer Ed Jacobs of the California Highway Patrol said a man in a black pickup truck was driving south in northbound lanes just south of Escondido Canyon Road at 3:28 a.m. Saturday when he collided with an oncoming vehicle, which swerved and struck a rideshare van.
Pate allegedly drove a 2006 Toyota Tundra south into the northbound lanes of Highway 14, near Escondido Canyon Road, when he collided with a 2006 Chrysler 300, which swerved and struck a rideshare van, according to a CHP report.
Pate’s truck flipped over, Jacobs said at the time. Pate was in critical condition at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia.
Giles, a 77-year-old Quartz Hill minister, who drove the 2006 Chrysler 300 died on scene in the collision.
Mattie Lee Ferguson, a 60-year-old Lancaster woman who was a passenger in Giles’s car, succumbed to her injuries Monday night at Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills.
Lennard A. Wilds, 47, of Lancaster, another passenger in Giles’s vehicle, was trapped in the car until rescuers could later free him. He sustained critical injuries, and was airlifted to Henry Mayo.
All three victims are listed in the complaint against Pate.
The crash came less than a week after another wrong-way driver, believed to be on drugs, caused a mutli-car pileup that left three people with life-threatening injuries.
Deputy District Attorney Mykka Piantanida is prosecuting the case for Los Angeles County.