Baseball Player Pleads Guilty In Fatal East County Crash
Andrew Bellatti, 19, Was Drafted By Tampa Bay Rays
Last Updated: 954 days ago
A 19-year-old minor league baseball player pleaded guilty Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with a crash that killed a popular high school volunteer.Sentencing was tentatively set for Nov. 10 for Andrew Bellatti, a 12th round pick of Tampa Bay out of Steele Canyon High School in Jamul, near where the Jan. 22 collision took place.According to testimony in a previous hearing, Bellatti was rushing his girlfriend to a high school basketball game when he lost control of his car, which crashed head-on into a van.David Norman Reid, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene. His son, Garrett Reid, then 17, suffered numerous broken bones but has recovered.Bellatti's girlfriend, Bree Pfunder, suffered a concussion. She played on the Steele Canyon girls basketball team and was late to a game in Santee, according to testimony.Witnesses testified that they saw Bellatti's Ford Mustang approach the Steele Canyon High campus at a high rate of speed, cross into the opposite left-turn lanes to avoid a car exiting the school parking lot, and return to his lane before the car spun out on rain-slick pavement.Garrett Reid, who was returning with his father from a movie theater, said he "heard skidding tires" and looked up to see a car out of control before he blacked out.His 50-year-old father volunteered with school drama productions and other campus activities.Deputy District Attorney Curtis Ross said that under the plea deal, Bellatti will probably receive probation and the possibility of one year in jail.Reid's widow does not want to ruin the young man's life, the prosecutor said."She doesn't want him to be going to prison," Ross said.Bellatti, who had been free on bond, surrendered in the courtroom several hours after entering his plea.He compiled a 2-5 record and 4.04 ERA with the Princeton Rays of the Appalachian Rookie League this summer.