Friday, June 22, 2007

Cal Student Faces Charges in Journalist's Death

By Kathleen Richards
Fri, Jun 22, 2007 at 12:10 AM

San Mateo County prosecutors will file a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge against UC Berkeley journalism student Kevin Jones, who was driving David Halberstam at the time of an April accident that killed the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. If convicted, the 26-year-old faces up to a year in a county jail and a $1,000 fine, according to an article in the Chron.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said evidence made it clear that Jones ran a red signal to turn left onto Willow Road from Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park. In addition, authorities say his Toyota Camry was not in one of the two left-turn lanes, but rather the next lane over. Jones' lawyer, Laurel Headley, said she had not seen the police reports and could not comment.

The 73-year-old Halberstam died after Jones' car was broadsided by an Infiniti. Wagstaffe said Monday that the Infiniti driver, Lewis Morris, 64, of San Jose, would not face any charges, and that drugs and alcohol were not involved in the fatal crash.

Jones had volunteered to drive Halberstam -- who'd given a journalism school-sponsored talk at UC Berkeley two days earlier -- down the Peninsula for an interview with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle for Halberstam's next book. His widow, Jean Halberstam, has called on universities to end the practice of having students drive guest lecturers during visits.

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