LOS ANGELES – The children of a Lancaster pastor who died after a wrong-way car crash on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway in 2013 are suing a Hollywood nightclub for allegedly returning the truck and keys back to the man accused of driving drunk and causing the crash.
Wanda Giles of Victorville, Kenneth Giles of Claremont, Limmie Giles of Rialto and Esther Thomas Giles of San Bernardino filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against King King.
Their father was 77-year-old Manard Giles, who was killed about 3:30 a.m. June 22, 2013, in a head-on collision on the northbound freeway near Escondido Canyon Road. Manard Giles was a pastor at The Answer Community Church of God in Christ in Lancaster. The pastor and his passengers had been returning from a church event in San Diego at the time of the crash.
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Bradford Pate of Burbank was allegedly drunk when he drove his Toyota Tundra south onto the northbound lanes of the Antelope Valley Freeway. Pate’s truck crashed head-on into Manard Giles’ Chrysler 300, and the pastor was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in his car, Mattie Lee Ferguson, 60, of Lancaster, died later. A third passenger in the pastor’s vehicle was trapped in the car until rescuers could later free him.
Pate was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of DUI causing injury with a prior and DUI over 0.08% alcohol causing injury with prior, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Pate, who was convicted of DUI in 2007 in Ventura County, is currently awaiting trial. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
The suit states that King King had possession of Pate’s truck keys while he drank at the club late into the night of June 21, 2013, and through early the next morning. The suit does not state whether the keys were surrendered by Pate to valet operators or other employees while he was at the Hollywood Boulevard establishment.
However, the truck and keys were returned to Pate as he left, the suit states.
The suit alleges King King was negligent for “allowing a policy of returning vehicles and …. the vehicles’ keys to intoxicated persons, thereby allowing them to operate a vehicle,” causing an unreasonable risk of harm to the public of which the club should have been aware.
The complaint alleges negligence and wrongful death. It seeks unspecified damages.
A representative for King King could not be immediately reached Friday.
[City News Service contributed to this report.]
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