- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

A 66-year-old Reno driver accused of vehicular manslaughter in a crash that killed two children felt a seizure coming on but went to a grocery store anyway before the June mishap, a city prosecutor said Friday.

“He felt the onset of a seizure and continued to drive,” Reno City Attorney Karl Hall said while disclosing Sheldon Berg had been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter.

The misdemeanor charges came more than three months after the tragic crash in a working-class neighborhood of Reno.

The filing moved the case forward despite legal complexities related to medical conditions and criminal fault. Authorities eventually decided against filing felony charges, which would have required proving intent to harm.

Authorities say Berg was behind the wheel when an SUV drove through the backyard of a home, killing a 2-year-old boy, Sabadel Gomez Rubio, and 4-year-old girl, Desdeiry Candelaria Gomez Rubio.

The SUV was “going like a bat out of hell” as it plowed through a T-intersection before hitting the house, neighbor Conley Davis told The Associated Press after the crash.

Police said the driver may have had a medical episode. Berg’s mother said he had an on-going medical condition. Berg’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hall said charges were filed Wednesday with bond set at $3,000, although Berg on Thursday was granted release on his own recognizance under the condition that he not drive. A trial date hasn’t been set.

If convicted of the two misdemeanor counts, Berg could face six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, with penalties doubled if the judge orders possible sentences for each victim to run consecutively.

Berg’s license is currently cancelled, although officials have said that he can’t be banned entirely from driving. The Reno city attorney said Berg had sought to regain his license in July after he was briefly hospitalized from the crash.

Nevada has no permanent revocation process for driving privileges, but DMV license reviewers could impose restrictions to make it harder to obtain, such as testing or physician letter requirements.

At the time of the crash, Berg was on an active, restricted license issued months earlier that required an annual doctor’s note.

He has been required to submit letters from a doctor certifying his ability to drive at least since 2013, when he was involved in an accident after suffering a medical episode, the DMV said. His driver’s license has been suspended at least six times since 2002.

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