Prosecutor: Driver in Fatal Crash to Be Sentenced to 4 Years

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CITY NEWS SERVICE

SANTA ANA — A 26-year-old man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a drunken driving crash that killed his friend and injured another woman in Anaheim two years ago is expected to be sentenced to four years in a city jail, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Mai Hayakawa and Michael Patrick Keating

Michael Patrick Keating pleaded guilty Friday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more.

Keating accepted a plea deal from Orange County Superior Court Steven Bromberg, said Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire. The judge indicated he would sentence Keating to four years in the Seal Beach jail on Dec. 7 if the defendant qualifies, according to McIntire, who said the defendant will have to pay to do his time behind bars in the Seal Beach jail.

On Dec. 7, the judge will also determine what restitution Keating may owe the victims, McIntire said.

McIntire objected to the plea bargain. She advocated a six-year prison sentence for Keating.

Keating was drinking at Cantina Lounge in Fullerton with two friends on Aug. 22, 2010. About 11 p.m., they left the restaurant and he and got behind the wheel.

Keating was driving too fast on the southbound Orange (57) Freeway and lost control of the vehicle on the connector to the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway, McIntire said. The car veered off the road and careened down an embankment before slamming into a palm tree.

Keating’s 22-year-old friend Mai Hayakawa, who was in the front seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. Alyssa Unruh, 21, who was in the back seat, suffered wounds to her head and neck.

About two hours after the crash, Keating’s blood-alcohol level was .09 percent and he had a trace of marijuana in his system, according to prosecutors.

According to The Daily Titan, the CSU Fullerton newspaper, a celebration of Hayakawa’s life was held on campus in February 2011. A graduate of CSUF and a renowned member of the Theatre Department, she was known by family and friends as an eccentric, fun-loving and creative individual who had a passion for the arts. Family, students and alumni performed skits as well as “Peter Chan,” a play written by Hayakawa when she was a student. Proceeds went to a memorial scholarship fund that sends a CSUF student to the New York Theatre Intensives every year.

Born in Culver City in 1988, Hayakawa grew up in Diamond Bar and worked at the family’s restaurant in Covina. In 2006, she was accepted to UC Riverside and CSUF and chose the latter, where she excelled in playwriting. She was also a talented violinist who was the solo opener for a Reba McEntire concert at the Honda Center in 2009.

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  1. danduenas01@yahoo.com on

    Concerning the sentence for his action’s that ended the life of a beautiful,talented, and loving spirit,no length of time behind bar’s can be enough. Although a life sentence of living with the reality of his action’s just may be some sense of justice.There can be no healing unless forgiveness is asked, there can be no peace unless forgiveness is granted.To all of us touched by this tragedy, may you find healing peace. Sincerely Dan Duenas

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