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D.A. Files Murder Charges Against the Driver in "Car Surfing" Accident

Published On: Jun 13 2012 07:00:00 AM CDT
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 09:40:53 PM CST

UPDATE: Santa Barbara- Second Degree Murder charges have been filed against 28-year-old Lanie Tyrone Richardson, the driver allegedly involved in the death of Allison Meadows along East Valley Road in Montecito. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced that additional charges were also filed charging Richardson with Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Causing Injury and Driving when his Privilege to Drive was suspended for a prior Driving Under the Influence conviction. Dudley says Richardson has three prior convictions related to Driving Under the Influence, "This murder charge is based upon an allegation that the actions of the defendant showed a conscious disregard for human life." The prior convictions include two from 2011 and one from 2008 all in the Santa Barbara jurisdiction. Richardson will be arraigned on June 20th and his bail is set at $500,000. CHP documents obtained by KEY News and sources indicate that Meadows and her friend Lindsay Keebler may have been car surfing in an area called "the bump" in Montecito. Both women were found early Wednesday morning along a stretch of East Valley Road. 26-year-old Meadows died at the hospital and 25-year-old Keebler suffered injuries. She was released on Friday from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Initial reports claimed the women were walking along the shoulder of the road when a vehicle hit them and left the scene about five in the morning just east of Sheffield Drive. Car Surfing is when passengers of moving vehicles perform various stunts: like hanging out of the car or 'surfing' on the hood, trunk or on the roof of the vehicle while it's moving. "The bump" is a spot along East Valley Road where some people like to speed, hit the bump and get airborne for a thrill. Richardson, who the CHP first described as a good Samaritan for seeing the women and transporting them to the hospital, is allegedly the person responsible for the deadly incident. KEY News spoke with Woody, owner of Woody's Auto Detailing, on Chapala Street in Santa Barbara. He says a Toyota 4Runner Truck was delivered to his detailing shop on Thursday, June 7th the morning after the accident. Woody says he opened up one of the back doors and saw the back seat was covered in blood. He suspected something was wrong and called Cottage Hospital to find out if anyone had been injured. That's when he first heard about Meadows and Keebler. Woody says CHP officers were at the hospital when he called, they got on the phone and asked him not to touch the truck. He says they showed up about thirty minutes later to take pictures and inspect it. Besides the bloody backseat, Woody also says the 4Runner had a crack in the windshield and a dent in the hood as if someone had been standing on it. KEY News checked the CHP accident report issued on June 8th and it shows Richardson was driving a 2006 Toyota 4Runner. Another interesting note, Woody says the person who dropped off the 4Runner and talked with him about detailing the truck was not Richardson, but an unidentified woman. Richardson of Santa Barbara was arrested last Friday and was originally booked into county jail on vehicular manslaughter charges. These kinds of dare devil stunts are more common than most people realize. Nordoff high school grad, Cody Dolittle, died two years ago while "skitching" or skateboarding behind a Jeep near a curve at Del Norte and Cuyama in Ojai. Authorities say it should be common sense not to do these types of things but internet videos and even movies glorify the dangerous and sometimes deadly stunts.

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