TORRANCE (CNS) – A 19-year-old Long Beach man who fled the scene of a crash in Torrance that killed one of his passengers and seriously injured another entered a no contest plea today and was immediately sentenced to 15 years in state prison.
Monte Lashawn Collins entered his plea to one count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and also admitted an allegation that he fled the scene of the Nov. 14 crash, along with an allegation that he violated his probation in a human trafficking case in which he pleaded no contest a year ago, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Collins’ front-seat passenger, George Jackson, 20, was fatally injured in the crash, which occurred on Hawthorne Boulevard, south of Del Amo Boulevard.
Co-defendant Karin Taylor Dixson, who was a passenger in Collins’ 2004 Chevrolet SUV, pleaded no contest to one count of being an accessory after the fact. The 19-year-old Los Angeles woman was sentenced to three years probation and time she had already served behind bars since her November arrest, Santiago said.
Collins was speeding and driving recklessly southbound on Hawthorne Boulevard toward the intersection of Del Amo Boulevard when his SUV sideswiped a vehicle, then careened over the center divider and into the northbound lanes, Torrance Police Department Sgt. Ronald Harris said.
Two other vehicles headed north on Hawthorne Boulevard collided with the SUV, which rolled over, ejecting Jackson, according to the sergeant. A third passenger, who suffered serious injuries, was trapped inside the vehicle and freed by bystanders, according to Harris.
Collins was arrested about two hours later by Torrance police.