A former local high school baseball star who was drafted by a Major League team last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter in connection to the death of much-loved local teacher.
Andrew Bellatti, 19, is a former Steele Canyon High School star pitcher and was a 12-round draft pick by Tampa Bay.
The teen had faced more than seven years in prison if had been convicted of all the charges he faced, according to prosecutors. It's not clear yet what sentence prosecutors will recommend to the judge.
David Reid, 50, died in a crash around 4:20 a.m. on Jan. 23 near Steele Canyon High School, where he was a frequent volunteer. Reid was very involved in the school's drama club, where he often volunteered for his drama productions, according to Assistant Principal Jeff Kover.
Bellatti, 18 at the time of the crash, was going 80 mph on Campo Road when he illegally crossed the double yellow line to pass another car and headed straight into oncoming traffic, according to the California Highway Patrol, whose investigators said they did not believe drugs or alcohol played any role in the crash. Bellatti's red Mustang slammed into Reid's Dodge Caravan.
"The first vehicle swerved out of the way that was traveling eastbound; the second vehicle collided head-on with the Mustang," CHP officer Brian Pennings said. "The speedometer was frozen at impact. It was frozen at 80 mph.”
Bellatti was spotted driving around stopped cars at a stopped sign during the previous week and was also seen running red lights, according to prosecutors
Also injured in the crash were Reid's teenage son, Garrett, and another teen, a 16-year-old girl riding with Bellatti who is believed to have been the pitcher's girlfriend.
After court on Tuesday, Garrett spoke to the media about the case.
"I forgive him on the aspect of we all do stupid things," Garrett said. "My forgiveness of him has dwindled as I've learned what it's like to lose my father."
Bellatti is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 10.