SANTA ANA, Calif. – A speeding driver under the influence of drugs was sentenced today to 18 years in state prison for driving through a red light and killing a woman crossing the intersection at a shopping center. Paul Collins Pike, 33, Orange, pleaded guilty to a court offer Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and sentencing enhancements for a prior strike conviction for first degree burglary in 2001 and prior prison convictions for first degree burglary in 2001 and possessing a weapon while incarcerated in 2007.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 23, 2014, Pike drove his Ford Explorer, while under the influence of methamphetamine, at a high rate of speed on La Palma Avenue in Buena Park. He sped through a red light at the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Buena Park Downtown East Street and struck 45-year-old Angela Clayton as she legally crossed the intersection in a marked crosswalk. Pike struck two other cars, caused a collision involving six other vehicles, and crashed his vehicle. The Buena Park Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested the defendant where he crashed his vehicle.
The victim was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where she died from her injuries sustained in the crash.
At the sentencing today, two of the victim's sons delivered impact statements to the court pursuant to Marsy's Law. One of her sons explained that while he served in Afghanistan, his mother always told him to be careful, but he never told her to be careful, thinking she would be safe here at home. He talked about how difficult it was to lose and save people while serving and thought he would be able to handle anything back home but losing his mother has been a real struggle. He added that there was at least a purpose behind the conduct that injured people where he served, while the act that took his mother's life was just senseless.
The victim's other son told the court that prior to the crash, his wife was pregnant and expecting a baby boy. He went on to explain that his mother was crossing the street that day to purchase paint so she could paint a baby crib in anticipation of a new baby grandson. The victim's son talked about how he had just gotten off the phone with his mother and told her that she did not have to go out of her way to do this but said she insisted and that she just wanted to be a part of their lives and now she will never get a chance to meet her grandson.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell prosecuted this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14NF1352/ October 26, 2015