After a 26-year-old Santa Barbara woman was fatally injured in a “car surfing” incident in Montecito, the driver of the vehicle and two others allegedly hatched a plan to “fool law enforcement” about what happened as they were driving the woman to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, according to a “probable cause” statement filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court by the California Highway Patrol.
Lanie Tyrone Richardson, 28, of Santa Barbara, was behind the wheel of a Toyota 4Runner involved in the June 6 incident on East Valley Road east of Sheffield Drive, according to the CHP. He has been charged with second-degree murder and other felonies in connection with the incident, and entered not-guilty pleas on Thursday.
At about 5:20 a.m. the day of the incident, Richardson engaged in the act of car surfing — “with two women riding on the exterior of the vehicle on the hood and front windshield” — while driving in a reckless manner, according to the statement submitted by CHP Officer Jason Miller.
“Both females became airborne and were ejected onto the roadway,” Miller stated in his declaration.
Allison Meadows, 26, suffered fatal injuries, and Lindsay Keebler, 25, also of Santa Barbara, was seriously injured.
Afterward, Richardson; the right front passenger, whose identity has not been released; and Keebler allegedly placed Meadows in the car and transported her to the hospital without calling 9-1-1, according to Miller’s statement.
While driving to the hospital, Richardson, the male passenger and Keebler “collaborated a plan to fool law enforcement of the actual incident that occurred,” Miller stated.
“Upon arrival to the hospital, Richardson gave misleading information to law enforcement regarding the incident,” Miller said.
Richardson and the male passenger initially were described by the CHP as “good Samaritans” who had found the injured women on the roadway and brought them to the hospital.
Richardson was placed as the driver in the deadly incident “by witness statements, surveillance videos and other law enforcement resources,” Miller wrote.
Richardson entered a not guilty plea to the murder charge on Thursday. He also denied special allegations in the case.
In addition to the murder charge, Richardson is accused of manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence, causing great bodily injury to another person, and with prior DUI convictions; DUI causing serious bodily injury with prior DUI convictions; and driving with a license that has been suspended or revoked due to DUI.
He has also had three previous DUI convictions, according to court records.
Richardson was ordered to return to court July 12 to have a preliminary hearing set. He remains in custody at County Jail with bail set at $1 million.