Partly sunny

Driver, 74, could be charged in death of woman hit while waiting for zipline tour

A San Francisco driver whose car sped off Bohemian Highway and killed a woman sitting in a nearby parking lot caused the crash by hitting her gas pedal instead of her brake, the CHP said Wednesday.

"It was not a a mechanical failure, she had pedal confusion," said CHP Sgt. Allan Capurro. "She thought she was stepping on her brake but she was stepping on the gas."

The case against driver Johnella Thomas, 74, will go to the District Attorney's Office this week, Capurro said.

Camp Meeker Vehicle Accident


Prosecutors will determine if she should be arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor manslaughter, he said.

Nola Mary Wolf, 61, was sitting in the path of the 2010 Mercedes and was killed in the Feb. 24 crash at a Camp Meeker conference center.

Thomas, who was seriously injured, told CHP investigators that her brakes had failed and the car suddenly accelerated.

The investigation into the cause took weeks, in part because of two evaluations of the Mercedes C300 sedan.

CHP investigators checked the vehicle and determined no mechanical malfunction had occurred.

Mercedes Benz company officials also wanted to review the car. A subsequent evaluation was done of the car's computerized electrical system and determined there had been no malfunction.

Investigators also determined that Thomas had not suffered a medical emergency.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View