Woman charged with manslaughter in Danville cyclist's death

26-year-old from Manteca faces misdemeanor count for May 5 crash

Prosecutors have charged a Manteca woman with a single count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter stemming from a fatal traffic collision on Crow Canyon Road that killed a Danville bicyclist in May, Danville police announced late Thursday afternoon.

Authorities allege Alyssa Densmore, 26, was traveling northbound on Crow Canyon in a Toyota Avalon when she struck cyclist George Kaufer at the Tassajara Ranch Drive intersection just before 4:40 p.m. May 5.

Kaufer, 55, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he later died, according to police. The married father of two daughters worked as facilities director for the San Mateo-Foster City School District.

The Danville Police Department's Traffic Unit investigated the crash for several weeks and forwarded the case information to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office for consideration, with prosecutors ultimately choosing to charge Densmore with misdemeanor manslaughter, according to town officials.

The DA's Office has not responded to requests for comment on the case sent earlier Thursday afternoon. It was not immediately clear whether Densmore has appeared in court to face the charge or entered a plea.

Thursday was the first time Danville police publicly identified Densmore.

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3 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Sep 11, 2015 at 9:23 am

I really hope this avoidable tragedy educates drivers on paying attention to the road (text messaging, etc) and respecting pedestrians and cyclists. Cars are deadly weapons and pedestrians have no chance against them in a collision.

Let this also be a warning to some of the angry drivers in this area that think side swiping, yelling, cursing, throwing objects, and endangering cyclists lives because you don't think 'they' belong on the road or 'deserve it because they also break driving laws' is acceptable. Times are changing. More and more normal people are riding bikes to work and help our environment and get some exercise. So get used to it and get over it.

Back in May, some of the cold comments on this subject actually blamed the cyclist for his own death. I hope you are now ashamed of yourselves given the driver has been rightly prosecuted. I don't think she will be the last, however. I anticipate some of those people who made those ruthless comments will eventually be prosecuted for similar crimes.

I now hope you have the courage and empathy to apologize for your callous and cold remarks about this mans death and come to terms that he did NOTHING WRONG.

16 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Danville
on Sep 11, 2015 at 10:16 am

There's another side to David's response to the tragic death of the cyclist.
What about those cyclists that ride in large packs and obey few laws of the road?
What about those cyclists that ride more that 2 abreast and leave no room for a motorist to pass?
What about those cyclists that speed through traffic signals?

Watch the large group that rides up Camino Tassajara and turns onto Highland Road. You will understand what I mean.

This is not to say that all cyclists are bad. Most ride safe and careful.
How about sharing the road?.....

Why do you need to ride in such a large pack , anyway??????

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Posted by neutral
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Sep 11, 2015 at 11:15 am

Short of being able to prove a cyclist was breaking a law when struck by a car, if you strike a cyclist with a car, you will be at fault almost 100% of the time. Riding in a large group and consuming a lane is not breaking the law. If a cyclist does break the law, let the police deal with it, vigilantism is also against the law.

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Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Dear 'Resident',
In regards to cyclists, motor cycle riders, and drivers of cars...if someone is breaking the law that is wrong. Knowbody would disagree with that.

In regards to riding 2 abreast, I suggest you download a copy of the DMV handbook and educate yourself on California driving laws as pertaining to cyclists. A Danville police officer on a motorcycle didn't even know the laws a few weeks ago so I won't be too hard on you. It's actually shocking how law enforcement sometimes has to be educated while on the road.

In regards to riding in large packs, that's a good question. First, often we have group rides. They are open to everyone. So 10 may show up or 100 may show up. It's totally random. These are usually on the weekends, especially on Saturday. We cyclists actually prefer smaller groups than having 100 people riding on Highland. Trust me. I'd rather have 20. It's usually more safe. Safety is my main concern along with others. If someone in our group rides run a red light they are basically scorned and yelled at by the group. That is not cool or acceptable to experienced cyclists. Basically, non of us want to see someone die and we don't like reckless bike riders giving us a bad name. That is for the majority of cyclists. I know there are a few bad apples but that goes for anyone using roads.

And for the most part, drivers of cars are respectful and careful around cyclists. I've had a few bad experiences and I've been hit and injured by a car but it was an accident on their part. Not intentional. I try and develop good will whenever I ride. I wave and say thank you when a car is careful and doesn't cut me off, I stop at stop signs, etc.

This fatality was driver error. Period. It should not have happened. And that poor mans family is struggling to go on as we have this discourse. It's a sad state of affairs.

3 people like this
Posted by a cyclist myself
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

f you read the "resident" comment, that person did not state that it was against the law to ride 2 abreast. It said "more that 2 abreast" is dangerous.

Ride safe, it in a car or bike..respect others
and enjoy it is short.

Like this comment
Posted by what?
a resident of Danville
on Sep 13, 2015 at 6:42 pm

I remember when this story first appeared on Danville Weekly. The comments went on and on about how horrible cyclists are.

Essentially and literally blaming the man for his own death in some of the comments.

Now that the women is being prosecuted I guess they finally decided to shut their pie holes.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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