BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — His attorney told him not to speak with police, but car culture enthusiast Karim Reyad was confident enough to give a statement following a crash last month in which his 2019 Dodge Charger Hellcat allegedly traveled 108 mph before slamming into another vehicle, killing a Bakersfield grandmother.
“I haven’t done anything wrong,” Reyad told police. “I’m not worried about anything, you know?”
A passenger in his car, however, said Reyad drove like a “maniac” before the April 18 collision in southwest Bakersfield that killed Gayla Sue Price, 66, according to newly-released court documents. Price died at the scene.
The passenger, who suffered a broken foot and fractured knee, said Reyad ran a stop sign at 80 mph, eventually hit speeds of at least 120 mph and made an illegal U-turn before traveling east on Campus Park Drive, according to the documents. He said Reyad then swerved into opposite lanes to be “cool or whatever” and was traveling 100 mph just before hitting Price’s Honda Civic.
Reyad, 18, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and reckless driving, among other charges, and is being held in jail without bail. He’s due back in court June 2 and faces a life term in prison if convicted as charged.
He had two passengers in his car, both of whom were injured, police said.
Reyad was interviewed at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was treated for multiple injuries including a broken arm. An investigator told him his leg may have to be amputated.
“Well, I’ve been (expletive) up way worse before,” Reyad responded according to the documents. His left arm was amputated from the elbow down after a crash on a mini bike last year.
“No way,” he responded when told data retrieved from his car — which he bought days earlier — showed it had been traveling 108 mph just 1.1 seconds before the crash, documents said. He estimated he was traveling 50 mph, documents said.
One of the charges against him is driving under the influence of a drug and causing injury. Reyad said he smoked marijuana more than a day before the crash, reports said, but a passenger said he smoked marijuana from a wax pen while driving. Reyad’s blood tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, reports said.
According to the documents, Reyad on April 15 was found passed out behind the wheel at the intersection of Chamber Boulevard and Buena Vista Road and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Reyad told police he had taken prescription medication and smoked marijuana.
On April 12, the day he bought the Charger at Haddad Dodge, an officer cited Reyad for “exhibition of speed” after seeing the Charger’s tires lose traction as it made an unsafe turn north onto Buena Vista Road, reports say.
Reyad told police he had replaced the car’s tires twice within a week from doing burnouts. A service technician at Haddad Dodge who spoke with police said a new set of tires should last 25,000 to 30,000 miles.
Investigators viewed a Snapchat video taken by a passenger which captured the events leading up to the crash. The speedometer is visible and reads 100 mph at the 12-second mark; the crash happens four seconds later when the Dodge merges from the fast lane into a two-way left turn storage lane and hits the Honda, which was preparing to turn south onto Evening Star Way.
Price had the right of way, police said.
“Reyad did not have the right of way while in the two-way left turn storage lane as he was at least 500 feet away from the next possible northbound turn which would be at the intersection of Campus Park Drive and Desert Sand Way,” an investigator wrote.