Tahoe City man scheduled for sentencing in March fatal DUI | SierraSun.com

Tahoe City man scheduled for sentencing in March fatal DUI

Josh Staab
jstaab@sierrasun.com

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — A local man charged with contributing to the death of his friend after allegedly drunkenly crashing his car this spring is scheduled for sentencing by a Placer County judge next week.

Kelley Robert Smith, 23, of Tahoe City faces three felony charges, including one for gross vehicular manslaughter, following a March 7 accident that killed Tahoe City resident Daniel Koenig.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced at a 1:30 p.m. hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 18, inside the Tahoe City branch of Placer County Superior Court.

According to California law, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is punishable by 4, 6 or 10 years in a prison.

Smith’s two DUI charges, one of which carries the added weight of causing injury, could result in an additional three to six years, according to state law.

Smith’s attorney, Auburn-based Dan Kokoul, did not return several calls requesting comment for this story.

Placer County District Attorney’s Office representatives also did not return calls requesting comment.

Koenig was a passenger in Smith’s Subaru, along with one other passenger, Tony Thompson, 25, also of Tahoe City, when Smith lost control of the vehicle on Highway 28 in Carnelian Bay, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP reported Smith lost control due to “reasons related to (his) intoxication” while traveling westbound “at a high rate of speed.”

Koenig was pronounced dead at the scene, according to CHP. Smith suffered minor injuries, and Thompson was unhurt. Koenig was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Smith was reported to have had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15, nearly twice California’s legal limit of 0.08, according to CHP field sobriety tests conducted at the time of his arrest.

Smith remains incarcerated at the Placer County Jail in Auburn on $250,000 bail.