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Walnut Creek man charged in fatal crash

Original post made on Jan 20, 2012

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 19, 2012, 9:52 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

We have absolute sympathy for the family that lost two loved ones that day. However, please remove all those signs, flowers, candles, etc near the accident scene, as it is actually a distraction to drivers who end up looking at all those things, rather than the road, and we do not want that to lead to any other horrible accidents. The road site vigil is very dangerous, and it is time to remove the flowers and signs before it leads to more accidents.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

To me, the sign, flowers and candles are a powerful reminder for all to drive safely.


Posted by Oh!riley, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 20, 2012 at 11:20 am

"Investigation by the Danville Police Department revealed that Harris drove his vehicle with a known medical condition."
I'm curious--has anyone reported what the known medical condition is?


Posted by Danville resident Sycamore Valley Road, a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

While I also understand its important to remember those who lost their lives, it is time for the flowers and candles to go. It is a distraction and there have been enough accidents on this road, I am sure the family wouldn't want anymore loss of life. I don't know the women who died, but I send my heart felt condolences to their families, as well as to the young man who caused this accident. I can't imagine how awful he must feel as well.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

In response to Neighbor's remarks above: I believe that the memorial is a powerful reminder of the dangers of this intersection. The notion that the memorial represents a danger is preposterous, as I believe that licensed drivers are quite adept at processing more than one thing at a time. (i.e. looking at the road)
To request it be removed shows callous disregard for the loved ones of those who have perished at this intersection.


Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Michael: I feel horrible for the family, and can not imagine their pain and sorrow. However, I have a lot of experience in the area of accident reconstruction and human factors, and the signs, candles, memorial items do create a dangerous distraction that could lead to more accidents. From a physics standpoint, often a matter of a second separates an accident from a non-accident,and even a minor distraction from the application of the brakes and required stopping distance based on weight and velocity, makes a difference. You know the signs and candles are there, so your brain does not over process it when you drive by it now. However, for those on the road who have not driven by it before, it tends to occupy your attention, and distract you from complete focus on the road and objects around you. The reason teens, especially male teens, pay so much more in insurance than older, experienced drivers, is because from an actuary standpoint data shows they are more often distracted, and more likely to be in an accident.

A safer, better way for the family to keep their memories safe, and prevent future accidents, is to go talk to the high schools, run a memorial in the paper, create a web site, but please remove those items from the road before another family has to go through the pain you are suffering.


Posted by Sympathetic, a resident of Blackhawk
on Jan 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

While I understand the need to have some sort of Memorial, I also feel it creates a distraction to drivers.
Last weekend a woman was tending to the flowers & candles while sitting VERY close to the curb - putting herself in the line of danger.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

Medical conditions that impair driving are mandated to be reported by the diagnosing physician to the department of health services, which notifies the DMV. The DMV has the power to revoke the license, require proof that the condition is under control, or call the person in for an evaluation. I wonder if these steps were taken with the driver, and if not, if the physician will also be held responsible.

What a horrible and senseless tragedy. My heart goes out to all involved.


Posted by sponge bob roundpants, a resident of Danville
on Jan 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

powerful reminder to drive safely? are you serious? You're getting behind the wheel of a 3 ton SUV and going out on the freeway doing 70 MPH with thousands others (some texting, some eating, some putting on makeup, some on the phone, etc etc), and you don't recognize the inherent risk?

Go buy a bike if you need to be reminded; but please, for everyone's sake, don't get behind the wheel of a car.

And remove the memorial. It's out of context, on the roadway, and it causes a distraction - just like a phone.


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