Arraingment postponed for suspect in auto death
The arraignment of the Kings Beach man accused in the death of Truckee resident Joan Kelly originally scheduled for Monday, April 8, was continued to the morning of May 7.
Stephen Ramm, 46, is facing three charges, the first of which — “vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence” — is a felony that could carry of maximum penalty of up to six years in prison.
The second and third charges, both vehicle code infractions, include “failure to drive on the right” and “driving on the sidewalk,” will likely carry fines, much like a traffic ticket, according Placer County Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran.
The incident in question occurred on March 4, when Ramm was driving eastbound on State Route 28 through Kings Beach. Around 7 p.m., Ramm’s 1981 pickup truck veered into the westbound lane and continued up onto the sidewalk, stopping just inches from the front door of the Brockway Theater.
At the same time, the Kelly family of Truckee D Joan, Crispin and their 16-year-old son Kyle — were walking toward the movie theater.
Ramm’s speeding vehicle struck all three, killing Joan, 45, instantly at the scene.
Crispin, 47, and Kyle sustained various injuries and were treated at Tahoe Forest Hospital.
Ramm claims to have experienced a temporary loss of consciousness due to a medical condition just before the accident, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP’s investigation found Ramm at fault in the accident for his failure to drive on the right half of the roadway and also in violation for driving on the sidewalk, according to CHP Officer Kirk Bromell.
“The investigation also showed that Ramm had previously been informed by physicians that he had experienced past episodes of losses of consciousness. He had also been told that he should not operate a vehicle because of that condition.”
Ramm’s attorney, Robert Fruitman, declined to comment on the case at this time.
The continued arraignment is scheduled for May 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the Placer County Superior Court in Tahoe City.
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