An Orange County jury has found a San Clemente man guilty of second-degree murder after a crash on the 405 freeway that killed a 10-year-old girl in 2016.
The Orange County Register reports that on August 15, 2016, Adam Kanas, 39 was driving northbound on the 405 freeway near Seal Beach Boulevard when he crashed his Chevy Tahoe into another vehicle in the express lane. Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman told jurors that 911 emergency call records indicate that several calls were received indicating that Kanas was driving all over the road, at times slowing down to 20 miles per hour, speeding up to speeds as high as 70 miles per hour or stopping inexplicably on the freeway.
As traffic on the freeway increased, Kanas began driving in the carpool lane and eventually crashing into a Tesla which then struck a Honda Civic in a chain reaction crash.
Don Geddis, president and trustee for the Hillsborough City School District was driving the Tesla and riding in the vehicle with him as passengers were his daughters, Kaya and Kendra. Both girls were seriously injured in the violent crash.
Kendra Geddis, who was asleep in the backseat of her father’s vehicle when the crash occurred, was due to begin the 6th grade this fall. She died as the result of injuries she sustained in the accident.
Investigators found Kanas displaying behaviors consistent with intoxication. A toxicology screen later would indicate that Kanas had been impaired by both alcohol and muscle relaxants. At one point during questioning by police, Kanas fell asleep.
In closing statements that led the jury to their guilty verdict, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer told the jury that drunken and drugged driving in Orange County was up more than 120 percent in the past five years. He went on to say to them that Kanas had chosen to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. “That decision cost a 10-year-old girl her life – and cost her family a lifetime of memories with their little girl.”
Kanas is due to return to the Court on January 10th for sentencing.