A drunken driver who fatally struck a 75-year-old bicyclist last year in Solana Beach, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty Tuesday to several charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Lucas Beau Morgans, 22, faces up to 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced later this year for the June 22, 2021, death of Allen Hunter II.
In addition to manslaughter, Morgans also pleaded guilty to hit-and-run causing death and DUI counts.
Morgans struck Hunter from behind around 10:30 a.m. while Hunter, a retired physicist, was cycling on South Coast Highway 101 near Lomas Santa Fe Drive, according to authorities. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died that evening.
After fleeing the scene, Morgans went to his family’s home and told them what happened, according to his defense attorney, Michael Harkness. The attorney told the Union-Tribune last year that Morgans fled “out of sheer panic and without malice” and surrendered to sheriff’s investigators within 45 minutes.
Prosecutors said that about 90 minutes after the crash, Morgans’ blood-alcohol content was 0.169 percent — more than twice the legal limit at which drivers in California are considered impaired.
Morgans is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 27.
Staff reporter Alex Riggins contributed to this report.