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Driver faces felony charges in fatal Sonoma Valley crash

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office said Friday it has filed 18 felony charges against Damodar Chandradas, the 25-year-old San Francisco man who is suspected of causing a recent fatal vehicle accident on Highway 121 while driving under the influence.

One person died and two others were injured in the Oct. 29 crash, which the D.A.'s office said was caused when Chandradas, while making a pass on a blind curve, lost control of his car and swerved into oncoming traffic at a high speed.

Chandradas, who was driving a 1997 Jaguar on a suspended license, collided with 1994 Toyota Corolla near Meadowlark Lane. Both cars spun out of control.

Sergei Beoglozan, a passenger in Chandradas' car, died at scene of blunt force trauma, the D.A.'s Office said.

The Corolla driver, Gustavo Adolfo Mejia, 26, and his 5-year-old daughter, who had been in the safety seat in the back seat, suffered major injuries. Mejia's legs were broken and his 5-year-old daughter, a student at Cherry Valley school in Petaluma, suffered a spinal cord injury.

The D.A.'s Office said police found cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA and a loaded semi-automatic long-rifle with 53 rounds of ammunition in Chandradas' car.

"My office has worked tirelessly in conjunction with the Napa CHP to gather the evidence necessary to bring these charges and place this man in custody," District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement.

The charges against Chandradas include vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and with gross negligence; driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and causing great bodily injury and or death.

He was also charged with possession for sale and transportation of methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA; felon in possession of a loaded firearm; and a number of other charges.

Officials said Chandradas has prior felony convictions and has been convicted of driving on a suspended license on three prior occasions, which are alleged on the criminal complaint. Bail will be set at more than $1 million.

Chandradas also has a no-bail probation violation hold in San Francisco County.


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