Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MOTORCYCLIST CONVICTED OF KILLING DRIVER
IN 100 MPH CRASH WHILE RIDING ON
A SUSPENDED LICENSE
NEWPORT BEACH – A speeding motorcyclist who was riding on a suspended license over 100 mph was convicted today of killing a motorist by causing the victim’s car to flip after a high-speed crash. Blaise Aaron Meadows, 21, Orange, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license. He is expected to be sentenced to six years in state prison on July 30, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Meadow’s co-defendant, Daniel Cody Burkett, 25, Santa Ana, (Case #10SF0034) is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act and with gross negligence, one misdemeanor of reckless driving, and a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a crime. If convicted, Burkett faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. He is out of custody on $200,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 16, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2.
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on April 25, 2008, Meadows was recklessly riding his motorcycle at speeds over 100 mph on State Route 241 in Lake Forest. Burkett is accused of riding his motorcycle with Meadows and also riding at unsafe speeds over 100 mph. Burkett is accused of riding to the left of Meadows, who crashed his motorcycle into the back of an Alpha Romeo driven by 46-year-old Andrew Parker. The force of the impact caused the victim’s car to veer off the road and crash into a light pole before flipping onto the roof and landing in a parking lot. Meadows was thrown from his motorcycle and landed on the shoulder of the freeway.
Burkett is accused of briefly talking to Meadows before fleeing the scene. He is accused of calling friends and family on his cell phone while riding home. Meadows was transported to the hospital to be treated for several fractures. Parker, who was trapped in his car and had to be cut free, was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma.
Half an hour prior to the crash, Meadows was exchanging instant messages with friends discussing his intent to speed on his motorcycle and flee from police. The defendant was driving on a suspended license due to three prior speeding tickets and one ticket for running a red light. Prior to being issued a motorcycle license, the defendant attended and completed a motorcycle safety course in which he was advised of the danger of speeding and reckless driving.
The California Highway Patrol investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.