An evening of drinking and drug use preceded a fatal “car-surfing accident” in Montecito earlier this year, according to court testimony Tuesday from several law enforcement officers.
The revealing details were disclosed on the third day of the preliminary hearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court for Lanie Tyrone Richardson, 28, who is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Allison Meadows, who suffered fatal injuries June 6 after she had allegedly been “car surfing” on the hood of an SUV Richardson was driving.
Meadows, 26, and Lindsay Keebler, 25, were riding on the hood of the Toyota 4-Runner that Richardson was driving when the two women were ejected onto East Valley Road in Montecito, according to a sworn statement from a California Highway Patrol officer.
Meadows died of major head injuries and Keebler was seriously injured in the incident.
Keebler, Richardson and another man in the vehicle, Connor Clowers, initially told law enforcement that they had never met, and that the women had been victims of a hit-and-run incident that morning when the men stopped to take them to the hospital.
Four new witnesses took the stand Tuesday, all California Highway Patrol officers tasked with different portions of the investigation.
CHP Sgt. Andrew Chapman spoke about interviewing Connor Clowers, who was in the vehicle with Richardson at the time of Meadow’s death.
He was interviewed by Chapman several times, and Clowers admitted to lying to law enforcement about not knowing Meadows and Keebler when they interviewed him the morning of the accident.
Chapman said that Clowers had recounted leaving Whiskey Richards, a State Street bar, with Richardson, Keebler and Meadows the night before, and that Richardson had driven as the girls car surfed downtown on Arrellaga Street on the way to a party.
Clowers also told law enforcement that all four of them did lines of cocaine after they arrived at the party. Then, according to Clowers statement to Chapman, someone had suggested they go to “the bump” — a portion of elevated roadway in Montecito known for car surfing—and that Richardson had driven them there.
One of the most chilling moments in Chapman’s retelling of Clowers’ account came when he said the young man noticed Richardson was driving fast as the two young women rode on the hood, and looked over to the speedometer to discover the vehicle was going about 60 mph.
At that point, Clowers told officers, the women lifted off the hood and became airborne, and he recalled seeing them land on the roadway in the rearview mirror.
Other officers discussed their interviews with witnesses to the first alleged incident of car surfing, and whether Richardson’s prescription drugs may have played a role in the incident.
Testimony in the case was to resume Tuesday afternoon.
Check back with Noozhawk this evening for a full story on Tuesday’s court proceedings.