Concord Teen Faces Vehicular Manslaughter for Killing Pedestrians on the Sidewalk

-Posted On August 6, 2012 In Wrongful Death-

David Rosen, 17-years-old, struck and killed a 41-year-old man and his 9-year-old daughter up on the sidewalk as they were on a family bike ride one morning. Rosen lost control of his SUV Cadillac Escalade when he struck the bicyclists, sheared off a fire hydrant and careened into the brick facade of a medical office building next to the Contra Costa Fire District’s training center, which ended in this tragic Concord fatality in April a few months ago.

Recommendations and facts in the case are being reviewed. Police have recommended vehicular manslaughter charges. Vehicular manslaughter normally carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years. What will the evidence show? Should Rosen be tried as an adult? Should he be charged with a felony?

Mr. Solaiman Nuri, 41, died at the scene of the accident, while his 9-year-old daughter, Hadessa, died at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where her mother works as a trauma nurse. 12-year-old Hannah Nuri thankfully suffered only minor injuries and survived.

“The Nuri family feels very strongly [Rosen] should be treated as an adult,” said the family’s attorney. “Even though he was only 17, he committed an adult crime and took on adult responsibility. Even if he is tried with gross vehicular manslaughter, the penalties aren’t nearly enough.”

Rumors have swirled over whether the teen had been distracted by a cellphone, but police and prosecutors were not willing to share specific evidence before charges were filed, Lt Roche of Concord Police Department said. Among the evidence presented, police focused on:

  • driver distraction issues
  • physical evidence
  • statements by involved parties and witnesses
  • mechanical review of the SUV
  • driver impairment
  • cellphone records to determine whether he was talking on the phone or texting
  • full toxicology screening of his blood

As a San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorney specializing in accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, children’s safety and distracted driving, I am distraught, to say the least, to report this story. Distracted driving by a teenager is a nationwide epidemic, and causing death to not one but two people underlines this frightening modern day phenomenon. Reckless driving is inexcusable, and too often acceptable by passengers and drivers alike.

This tragedy could have been prevented.

I am glad that the Concord police are making this a top priority and hope that Rosen is made accountable for his actions which took the lives of two innocent people. Was it his inexperience or his arrogance that claimed the lives of these two innocent people? He had been licensed about six months before and he was reportedly driving over the 45 mph limit.

My condolences and heartfelt best wishes go out to Hannah Nuri who survived this accident, and to her mother. The community will never be the same either as the Woodside Elementary School, Girl Scouts, Port of Oakland and local soccer teams where Hadessa and Solaiman belonged grieve her loss.

The teen could face charges ranging from misdemeanor or felony vehicular manslaughter to murder, depending on what the evidence shows. The more serious the charge, the more likely the teen will be prosecuted as an adult.

About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for San Francisco Bay Area bicyclists and pedestrians. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco personal injury attorney, has fought to protect the rights of injured adults and children throughout his legal career.

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