- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—The Kern County District Attorney’s office will charge sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Clerico with one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter with negligence in the death of a woman in Oildale, it was announced Tuesday.

Clerico was involved in the collision that killed Nancy Joyce Garrett on Sept. 28 of last year.

The California Highway Patrol had recommended the charge.

“A thorough review of the California Highway Patrol’s investigation caused the District Attorney’s office to conclude that Deputy Clerico did not act with due regard for life or property, in that he did not drive as a reasonable, prudent emergency vehicle driver would have done under the circumstances, and in doing so created an unreasonable risk of harm to others,” a D.A.’s office press release said.

The CHP’s report found Clerico at fault because he entered a “solid red light” while traveling at a high rate of speed south on North Chester Avenue as it intersected with West China Grade Loop. His vehicle’s lights and siren were activated, but the speed at which he was driving minimized their effectiveness, the report said.

A lawsuit filed against Clerico and the county of Kern on July 14 is seeking monetary damages for Garrett’s family and changes within the sheriff’s department in how deputies are trained to drive the streets of Oildale and other communities in the county. Garrett’s two grown children, Mark McGowan and Deborah Blanco, are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit and are represented by Matthew C. Clark and Neil K. Gehlawat, of Chain — Cohn — Stiles.

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(c)2015 The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Calif.)

Visit The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Calif.) at www.bakersfield.com

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