|For Immediate Release
Case # 09SF0258 and 10SF0034
March 18, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
TWO SPEEDING MOTORCYCLISTS SENTENCED
TO SIX YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR KILLING
DRIVER IN 100 MPH CRASH
NEWPORT BEACH – Two speeding motorcyclists who were riding over 100 mph were each sentenced today to six years in state prison for killing a motorist by causing the victim’s car to flip after a high-speed crash. Blaise Aaron Meadows, 22, Orange, pleaded guilty Jan. 29, 2010, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license. Co-defendant Daniel Cody Burkett, 27, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty Jan. 18, 2011, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act and with gross negligence and a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a crime.
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on April 25, 2008, Meadows and Burkett were recklessly riding their motorcycle at speeds over 100 mph on State Route 241 in Lake Forest. Burkett was riding to the left of Meadows, who was riding on a suspended license and 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 briefly talked to Meadows before fleeing the scene and called 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.
At the time of the crash, Burkett was on probation for a 2007 misdemeanor evading the police conviction. 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 during which he was advised of the danger of speeding and reckless driving.
During the sentencing today, Parker’s wife of 22 years, Mary Ann, gave a victim impact statement to the court and explained, “Andrew was a true renaissance man. He was the guy‘s guy who could fix or make anything work. He loved jazz and classical music but was always up for going to a Tool or Social Distortion concert with his other crazy middle-aged friends. He spent time working with his hands, which had thick skin and scars, but were the most beautiful hands I had ever seen. I always considered him indestructible until the time of his death, but he was also the gentlest soul I’ve ever known. His presence, his smile and his laughter lit up the room. The strength of his love and the beauty of his soul live on in us.” She continued, “There has been no sign of remorse, guilt, or apology by either defendant. Their attitude appears to be that this was something done to them, not by them. They have no idea what they took from us.”
The victim’s son Shane said, “I was 17 years old and a senior in high school when my dad was killed. I will never forget receiving the news of his death. I couldn’t even begin to understand how this could have happened to anyone, let alone my dad.