Source: A 71-year-old Gridley man allegedly told California Highway Patrol investigators that he panicked after hitting a Durham bicyclist on the Midway last month, so he fled. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said he expects Anton "Tony" Mardesich to plead guilty today for the hit-and-run death of Rick Magee. Charges were filed Tuesday against Mardesich for felony hit-and-run causing death and felony insurance fraud, Ramsey said. He faces up to six years in prison. Magee's longtime friend, Steve Centanni, said he is thankful for CHP investigators' diligent work and that he is confident the DA will vigorously prosecute Mardesich. "It appears clear that the driver responsible for the death of our friend and family member, Rick Magee, engaged in repeated criminal activity — first by fleeing the scene after fatally injuring Rick and then by filing a fraudulent insurance claim to cover up his crime," according to an email from Magee's friends and family. "The defendant made tragically wrong decisions in evading responsibility before police found him and made the arrest. We urge the maximum possible penalty be imposed on both counts — felony hit-and-run and insurance fraud — in order to send a message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable, and to help ensure safety and security in our neighborhoods." About 3 p.m. Nov. 14, Mardesich was driving north on the Midway at Roble Road and allegedly drifted onto the shoulder, running into bicyclist Magee, the DA said. Magee, 61, was launched past his domestic partner riding in front of him and smacked into the pavement. Mardesich kept driving. At least one witness saw an SUV strike Magee, Ramsey said. Magee had severe head and internal injuries, said Officer Justin Maxey of California Highway Patrol. He died five hours later at Enloe Medical Center. The next day, Mardesich, a farm manager, allegedly took his 2007 Ford Edge to a Gridley auto body shop for repairs and said an oak limb fell on it as he drove it through the orchards, Ramsey said. He made the same claim to the insurance company. The SUV had damage to the right front headlight assembly, right fender and passenger-side windshield. On Nov. 16, a windshield repairman came to the shop to give an estimate on the SUV, saw what he thought was human hair in the windshield and told the shop's secretary, according to the DA. Three days later, a painter saw Mardesich come into the shop's yard and allegedly smear mud on the SUV's right headlight and windshield. He also told the secretary. That night, the shop's secretary saw a local television broadcast about the hit-and-run that mentioned a silver SUV or truck as the suspect vehicle. The next day, she called CHP.
Crash time: between 3 p.m. and 5:59 p.m.
Land use: Suburban
Road type: Rural Arterial
Where on the road the collision happened: Shoulder
Collision type: Rear-end
Vehicle type: Light Trucks (SUVs, pickups)
If truck: Unknown
At crash time driver was: Operating the Vehicle in Careless or Inattentive Manner, Hit & Run
SourcesSource: News Report
Link if Website: http://www.orovillemr.com/news/ci_22128058/gridley-man-charged-fatal-hit-and-run-crash
Legal StatusLegal status: Felony
Against: Against Driver
Civil Suit filed?:
In favor of:
Type of Charge: felony hit-and-run causing death and felony insurance fraud