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Driver in Halberstam crash to be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by budcrew08, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member


    Grad student who drove writer Halberstam when he died in car crash to be charged
    Associated Press
    Article Last Updated: 06/23/2007 12:36:27 AM PDT

    SAN FRANCISCO - Prosecutors announced they would charge a graduate student in the crash that killed journalist David Halberstam, saying the younger man ran a red light while making an illegal left turn.

    Kevin Jones, 26, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley's journalism school, will be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the April 23 crash, said San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

    Jones was driving the Pulitzer Prize winner to an interview with football legend Y.A. Tittle when the fatal crash happened in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco.

    Based on witness accounts and an accident reconstruction, investigators determined that Jones made an illegal left turn into the path of a car that had a green light.

    That car smashed into the passenger side of the vehicle where Halberstam was riding, said Wagstaffe. Jones had a red light.

    "He turned into the oncoming traffic, and that's why the (other) car crushed the side of the car with Mr. Halberstam," Wagstaffe said.

    Jones is expected to be charged next week.

    Records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles show that Jones had two previous accidents on his record, from March 2005 and March 2006. Neither resulted in a citation.
    In 1999, while he was a teenager living in Washington state, Jones was convicted of driving under the influence and paid an $862 fine, court records show.

    "His prior driving record did play a factor in our deliberations," Wagstaffe said.

    The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of a year in county jail, a fine or both.

    An autopsy showed Halberstam, who was wearing a seat belt, died almost instantly when a broken rib punctured his heart, authorities said.

    Jones suffered a punctured lung in the accident and took a leave of absence from school after the crash. He did not return a call seeking comment from The Associated Press.

    His defense lawyer, Laurel Headley, said Jones "is still extremely upset" and struggling to come to terms with Halberstam's death.

    "It's been an absolutely devastating experience for him," Headley said.

    Halberstam, the author of 21 nonfiction books, was at work on a new one about the legendary 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.

    The 73-year-old won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his coverage of the Vietnam War, a subject he revisited in his 1972 best-selling book, "The Best and the Brightest." He went on to write 14 other best-sellers, including "The Breaks of the Game," "The Reckoning," and "The Powers That Be."

    "The Coldest Winter," an account of a key battle of the Korean War, is to be published posthumously in the fall.

    Halberstam's widow, Jean Halberstam, hired a lawyer to explore the possibility of suing whichever driver ultimately was found at fault. She was out of the country Thursday and not available for comment.
  2. Hed bust

    Hed bust Guest

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