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Toy delivery ends tragically for motorcyclist killed by reckless driver

Lacie Dee Pardun, 32, of Rowlett, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for Manslaughter, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

“The judge and jury absolutely did right by holding her accountable for the death of Russell Neis, and yet no one can give the widow back her husband, or the two kids back their father,” added Willis.

On Dec. 13, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., Pardun was driving southbound on State Highway 78, a two-lane roadway, at speeds reaching 89 mph.  Just outside of Blue Ridge, and after passing several vehicles, she came upon the Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA) of McKinney traveling northbound in the opposite direction.

The CMA was having their “Project Christmas” toy drive to provide toys to underprivileged children, and was traveling with approximately ten riders in formation, followed by two cars that included the toys to be delivered.

The speeding Pardun slammed into a pickup in front of her that was also traveling southbound.  She then spun into the oncoming lane of travel, striking and killing Russell Neis, who was the last motorcyclist in the CMA formation. Neis’ wife saw what happened, as she was in one of the two toy-filled cars following the formation.

Pardun was charged with recklessly causing the victim’s death by failing to keep a proper lookout, timely apply her brakes, control her speed, and failing to maintain a single lane. The investigation also uncovered amphetamine and marihuana in Pardun’s system at the time of the collision.

The jury convicted Pardun of Manslaughter with a Deadly Weapon. Judge Ray Wheless decided punishment after considering additional evidence, which included Pardun’s felony probation for debit card abuse, her prior misdemeanor convictions, and her driving record that included two other crashes. He sentenced Pardun to 10 years in prison.

The case was investigated by several Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, including Sgt. Hunter Lewis. Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Paul Anfosso and Courtney Neel prosecuted the case, aided by DA Investigator Keith Henslee.