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Wrong-way driver charged with murder in Antelope Valley Freeway crash

June 25, 2013|By Jean Merl

A wrong-way driver who caused a fatal crash on the Antelope Valley Freeway was charged with murder Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Bradford Pate, 38, also was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and DUI above .08% alcohol causing injury, the district attorney said.

Pate allegedly entered the northbound lanes of the freeway, heading south, about 3:30 a.m. Saturday and slammed his pickup head-on into a another vehicle, authorities said.

The crash killed two people, including the Rev. Manard Giles, 77, of Quartz Hill. Giles, who was driving the Chrysler that Pate's truck hit, died at the scene.

One of Giles' passengers, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, of Lancaster, died later.

A third rider in the Giles vehicle was trapped in the wreckage but survived, authorities said.

Pate, who remains hospitalized, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in the San Fernando branch of Los Angeles Superior Court.

Prosecutors said they will ask that bail be set at $3 million for Pate, who they said was convicted of DUI in 2007 in Ventura County.

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl

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