RIDGECREST, Calif. (KERO) — A Kern County man was convicted of numerous charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the DUI death of a woman in 2021.
Richard McQuade was found guilty of ten charges including counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of a drug causing injury, and possession of methamphetamine while armed with a loaded firearm.
According to a statement released by the Kern County District Attorney's Office, on May 14, 2021, McQuade took Brooke Curry out for a “joyride” on his motorcycle down a residential street in Ridgecrest. McQuade was speeding as he approached an intersection marked with a stop sign. He did not react to the intersection or the stop sign until it was too late, at which time he slammed on his brakes causing the crash that threw Curry from the motorcycle. Curry was air-lifted to Antelope Valley Hospital with a traumatic, and ultimately fatal, brain injury. She died three weeks later.
McQuade was found to have had smoked meth that day and had an "abuse level of that drug" in his blood at the time of the crash. McQuade, a previously convicted felon, was in possession of methamphetamine, a glass pipe, and a loaded semi-automatic firearm at the time of the collision.
"Driving Under the Influence of drugs is often just as dangerous as being under the influence of alcohol. Impaired drivers subject other members of the community, including an impaired driver’s own passengers, to risk of serious injury or death. When DUI collisions result in death or serious injury, the District Attorney’s specialized DUI prosecution unit handles cases to ensure that justice is achieved,” said Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer in the statement.
A sentencing date for McQuade was set for Thursday, June 16th. Ge faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.