PALMDALE — The driver of a sport utility vehicle that collided with a motorcycle in Palmdale Friday night has been charged with the rider’s death.
Anthony Wayne Headen, 55, of Palmdale, was charged Tuesday with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and driving with a suspended license, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The complaint includes an allegation that Headen fled the scene of the crime. The criminal complaint also alleges that Headen has two prior convictions for driving with a suspended license.
Headen was to be arraigned Tuesday in an Antelope Valley courtroom, but the arraignment was postponed to March 4, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The case stems from a Feb. 19 traffic crash that claimed the life of 23-year-old Austin Morales of Lancaster.
It happened around 6 p.m. at the intersection of Avenue P and 15th Street East, according to a news release from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
Morales was riding a motorcycle east on Avenue P when Headen, in a Kia SUV, suddenly pulled out in front of the motorcycle from 15th Street East.
Morales was thrown from his bike and sustained critical injuries. He was treated by Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics and then transported to Antelope Valley Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Headen allegedly left the scene but was found a short distance away and arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run.
Headen has been jailed since his arrest in lieu of $165,000 bail, according to LASD inmate records.
Morales was a married father of three who was headed to work at the time of the crash, according to his family members.
Previous related story: Motorcyclist dies after Palmdale crash, driver arrested