MANHATTAN BEACH (CBS) — Friends, family and fans will gather Saturday to remember Angel pitcher Nick Adenhart and his two friends, who all died in a drunken driving crash in 2009. They will honor their memory by unveiling a commemorative wall adjacent to the Big Marine baseball field in Manhattan Beach.
Adenhart, 22, his girlfriend Courtney Frances Stewart, 20, and his friend Henry Pearson, 25, died in a crash on April 9, 2009, in Fullerton. The incident occurred just hours after the rookie pitcher hurled six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Their friend, Jon Wilhite, survived the crash but had to have his skull reattached to his spine.
Andrew Thomas Gallo, of San Gabriel, was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 51 years to life in prison for driving drunk and slamming into Adenhart and his friends.
“There are many people, and many families, beyond our own who were affected by the passing of Henry, Courtney and Nick and the terrible injuries Jon was forced to endure,” Pearson’s father, Nigel, said. “While we all remember those we have lost, our families believe it is critical to remind everyone, and especially our teens and young adults, about how a single moment of drunk driving can devastate innocent people’s lives.”
Members of the Pearson, Wilhite and Stewart families are expected to attend the dedication ceremony, along with officials from the Angels, Cal State Fullerton and Manhattan Beach City Council. Pearson, Stewart and Wilhite all attended Cal State Fullerton.
The dedication ceremony will precede a baseball game at Mira Costa High School, where Pearson and Wilhite had both gone to school.
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