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Too Fast, Too Drunk
Posted by Charles Esslinger on Jan 17th, 2014

William Cady, 25, appeared in a San Diego court room earlier this week to face six criminal charges, including three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and three counts of gross bodily injury. The charges, which could lead to serious prison time, all stem from a Jan. 10 crash that killed three people. According to prosecutors, the deadly crash was preceded by a long night of drinking.

Last Friday, Cady and five of his buddies started their evening by drinking at a friend's house. Afterwards, they made their way to a bar in the Clairemont Mesa area. At the bar, the group consumed enough alcohol to worry their server – before the men left, they were told they shouldn't be driving. Undeterred, the group left the bar and headed to a grocery store to to purchase more alcohol. They then headed to another bar in Clairemont Mesa, where, this time, they were kicked out for “being too rowdy.”

Together, the six men left the second bar in Cady's Escalade. Even though none of them should have been driving, it was Cady who got behind the wheel. As they traveled along I-805, Cady's friends started getting worried about the way he was driving. “[His passengers] asked him to slow down,” Deputy District Attorney Mackenzie explained. “He declined, said it was his car and he would drive as fast as he wanted.”

Cady, who continued to speed up, eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an embankment. The car then slammed into a cement pillar and rolled over several times, coming to a stop in the middle of the highway's traffic lanes. According to authorities, this initial crash resulted in a chain reaction of even more collisions. After Cady's Escalade came to stop, a silver Acura crashed into it. Moments later, two other vehicles crashed into the Acura and were diverted off the road.

Upon initial impact, four of the men in Cady's Escalade were ejected from the vehicle. Two of those men, Taylor Bednarski, 29, and Shon Gilliam, 23, died at the scene. The only occupant who was wearing his seatbelt, 35-year-old Jeffrey Becker, also died. Two of other men in Cady's vehicle, who have not been identified, were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. As for the other vehicles involved, only minor injuries have been reported.

When officers arrived at the scene, Cady was found behind the wheel of his car. He, like the other survivors of the wreck, was taken to a local hospital for immediate treatment. He remained hospitalized until Tuesday, when he was booked into the San Diego County Jail and charged for his role in the deadly crash. According to his attorney, Rick Layon, Cady is in shock over the incident. “He's absolutely devastated,” Layon said. “The people that were killed were his friends. There are not going to be any winners and losers in this case – no matter how it shakes out.”

If he's convicted on all charges, Cady will face a minimum of 21 to 24 years in prison. “The defendant is a danger to himself and a dangers to others in the community,” Harvey said.


NBC San Diego -