Lakeside man pleads guilty in head-on collision that killed 74-year-old driver

EL CAJON, Calif. - A Lakeside resident pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for causing a head-on crash that killed a 74-year-old man in Ramona last summer.

Garrett Michael Sparks, 20, was arrested shortly after the Aug. 29 collision, which occurred on San Vicente Road south of Warnock Drive about 7:40 p.m. The defendant later posted $50,000 bail.

Sparks told authorities he took his eyes off the road for at least 10 seconds while he was reaching for items that had fallen onto his truck's floorboard from the passenger seat, according to the California Highway Patrol.

His southbound 2007 Ford Ranger drifted into oncoming traffic at about 50 mph and stuck a northbound 2000 Ford Ranger driven by Kenneth Frederick Crane of Ramona.

Crane was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple blunt force injuries. Sparks escaped injury.

Investigators determined alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Sparks faces up to a year in jail when he is sentenced May 16 in El Cajon, said Deputy District Attorney Derek Grilz.

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