CHP suggests manslaughter charge in pedestrian death
January 24, 2006
Staff reportsThe California Highway Patrol is recommending that the Placer County district attorney file charges against the driver who struck and killed a pedestrian in a Kings Beach crosswalk on Jan. 8.The district attorney’s office will review the CHP’s investigation, which concluded Tuesday, to decide whether Kevin Gorchinski, 25, of Sacramento, will face involuntary manslaughter charges for the death of Tahoma resident Linda Marie Fernandez, said CHP Information Officer Steve Skeen.Fernandez, 56, and her boyfriend, 35-year-old Jeremy Virgo, were walking south in the marked crosswalk at Highway 28 and Fox Street at about 7 p.m. earlier this month when they were struck by Gorchinksi’s 1999 Honda Accord.Both Tahoma residents were “propelled airborne” during the collision and were transported to Tahoe Forest Hospital, where about an hour later Fernandez died, Skeen said. Virgo was released from the hospital with a broken ankle and other injuries.Investigators have determined that Gorchinski was driving between 30 and 35 mph with two passengers is the car. The speed limit on that stretch of Highway 28 is 30 mph, Skeen said. CHP officials said they believe Gorchinski was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision.Two vehicles in the westbound lanes had stopped for the pedestrians, according to eyewitness accounts to the CHP.Fernandez worked at the Tahoma Market for five years, and was a celebrated member of the tight-knit Tahoma community, according to her friends.Fernandez is survived by her three sons, Michael, Carlos and Mark.