|For Immediate Release
Case # 09WF0612
April 23, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING TWO IN 100 MPH CRASH AFTER LOSING CONTROL OF CAR AND CAUSING HEAD-ON COLLISION
WESTMINSTER – A driver speeding more than twice the legal speed limit at over 100 mph will be arraigned tomorrow for killing two people, his minor passenger and another driver, after losing control of his car and crashing head-on into another vehicle while driving on the wrong side of the road on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Deneshio Samuel Lankford, 22, Long Beach, is charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence and faces a maximum sentence of seven years and four months in state prison if convicted. Lankford is being held on $150,000 bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment tomorrow, Friday, April 24, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department W-15, West Justice Center, Westminster.
At approximately 6:35 p.m. on May 20, 2007, Lankford is accused of speeding over 100 mph in a 45 mph zone in a Honda Prelude eastbound on PCH in Seal Beach. He is accused of driving at an unsafe speed, losing control of his car, and veering into the westbound lanes facing the wrong direction on PCH. Lankford is accused of crashing head-on into an oncoming BMW, driven by 52-year-old Rick Vetter. The impact of the crash sheared the defendant’s car into two pieces. Lankford is accused of causing five cars, including his own, to collide.
Vetter was trapped inside his car and died at the scene due to blunt force trauma. Lankford’s passenger, 17-year-old Grisna Meas, was also killed at the scene. Two other drivers from the lesser-involved crash vehicles suffered minor injuries including soreness, small cuts and bruises.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.