A Walnut Creek man has been charged in connection with the Nov. 7, 2011 car crash that claimed the lives of two Danville women. John Peder Harris, 32, was charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, according to the county District Attorney's Office.
Harris was driving a Toyota 4-Runner westbound on Sycamore Valley Road around when he went through the red light at the intersection with Brookside Drive. At 4:18 p.m., he struck the driver's side of a southbound Dodge Durango driven by Elham Pirdavari, 51, of Danville. Pirdavari and her mother, Mahin Dowlati, 72, were killed in the accident.
Pirdavari was pronounced dead at the scene by San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District emergency personnel; Dowlati was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.
Investigation by the Danville Police Department revealed that Harris drove his vehicle with a known medical condition. Harris' choice to drive contributed to the District Attorney's Office decision to file charges against him.
"Our investigation showed that there was no texting, cell phone use, alcohol use, or other extraneous factors involved in this accident," Police Chief Steve Simpkins said. "We believe this accident was caused by a negligent decision to drive which resulted in tragedy."