Driver Charged in Fatal Wrong-Way Freeway Crash

A truck collided with a car, killing two and leaving a third person severely wounded over the weekend

By Jason Kandel
|  Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013  |  Updated 5:17 PM PDT
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Pastor Killed in Freeway Crash Had "Sweet Spirit"

Tommy Bravo/NBCLA.com

Pastor Manard Giles Jr. died when the car he was driving was hit by a suspected drunken driver on the Antelope Valley Freeway on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

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Wrongway Driver Causes Fatal Fwy Crash

A motorist driving in the wrong direction is suspected of driving while intoxicated and causing a crash that killed a person on the Antelope Valley Freeway in Acton. Reggie Kumar reports for Today in LA Weekend on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

Pastor Killed in Freeway Crash Had "Sweet Spirit"

Family and friends on Sunday remembered a 77-year-old pastor who died when a suspected drunken driver slammed into his car in a wrong-way crash as a "sweet spirit" with a zest for life.
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A 38-year-old Burbank man was charged with murder in a wrong-way freeway crash that killed a minister and his passenger and critically injured a second passenger as they were on their way back from a church retreat, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Bradford Pate was charged with two counts of murder and other charges after he slammed his pickup truck into oncoming traffic early Saturday on the Antelope Valley Freeway in Santa Clarita, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Pate was also charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and DUI over .08 percent alcohol causing injury, prosecutors said.

Pate, who remains hospitalized, is expected to appear at his first court hearing on Thursday.

Pate allegedly entered the northbound lanes of the 14 Freeway heading south before 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

His pickup truck crashed head-on into a Chrysler driven by the Rev. Manard Giles, 77.

A passenger in his car, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, of Lancaster, died later.

A third person in the minister’s vehicle was trapped in the car until rescuers could later free him.

Pate was convicted of DUI in 2007 in Ventura County, prosecutors said.

At a service on Sunday, mourners remembered Giles as a "sweet spirit" with a zest for life.

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