Photo by Jeff Ha.
A San Clemente man who allegedly caused a fatal crash on an Orange County freeway that sent a man and his two young daughters to a Long Beach hospital Monday was charged yesterday with driving under the influence of drugs and manslaughter, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors charged Adam John Kanas, 36, with one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, three felony counts of driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury with a prior conviction for reckless driving and a sentencing enhancement for a strike conviction in 2014 for first degree burglary in the County of Los Angeles, an OCDA release stated.
He is being held on a $1 million bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on August 25 at the West Justice Center in Westminster.
Authorities said Kanas was accused of driving his Chevy Tahoe SUV erratically on the 405 Freeway the morning of Monday, August 15 while under the influence of cocaine and opiates.
At about 9:30AM, police said he was driving at speeds of about 80 miles per hour, swerving left across multiple lanes and the double yellow line into the carpool lane near the Seal Beach Boulevard exit.
“Donald Geddis, 49, was driving a Tesla in the carpool lane while his two daughters, 10-year-old Kendra Geddis and 13-year-old Kayla Geddis, were asleep in the backseat,” the release stated. “Kanas is accused of failing to break and slamming into the rear bumper of Donald Geddis’ Tesla which was slowing to a stop as a result of traffic.”
The initial impact caused the Tesla to crash into the rear of a Honda Civic in front of it.
Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) firefighter arrived at the scene and recovered the body of Kendra, who died from the impact. Kayla and Donald were also extracted from the wreck and transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center where they were treated for serious injuries.
The driver of the Honda Civic was treated at the scene for minor injuries. A man who identified himself as one of the Honda’s passengers recalled the experience on a Facebook post, saying if it were not for the Tesla in between the Honda and the Chevy he could have died.
“Had they not been there, no way would I have seen another day of light,” Jeff Ha wrote. “Witnessing such an unfortunate event with my own eyes pushes me to go even harder in my career, do what I do, and help protect families. I have everyday to live for the rest of my life thanks to that family, and I aim to owe my life to them somehow. I intend to live my life like no other because of that 10 year old never had a chance to live hers. I'm grateful to be alive today.”
California Highway Patrol officers, who investigated the case, said that at the time of his arrest, Kanas allegedly displayed “objective signs of intoxication including slurred speech, trouble staying awake and shuffling his feet to balance himself.”