Tahoe man killed in apparent DUI wreck; driver held on $250K bail | SierraSun.com

Tahoe man killed in apparent DUI wreck; driver held on $250K bail

Kelley Robert Smith
Courtesy Placer County Sherif’s Office |


An earlier version of this story had the wrong age for Kelley Robert Smith. Mr. Smith is 23 years old, according to the California Highway Patrol. The Sierra Sun regrets the error.

CARNELIAN BAY Calif. — A local man was killed in a drunken driving-aided single-vehicle wreck overnight Friday off Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, officials said.

Daniel Koenig, 24, of Tahoe City was pronounced dead after he was ejected from a 2009 Subaru Outback that crashed into a power pole at about 2:20 a.m. Saturday, March 7, on Highway 28 in Carnelian Bay, according to the California Highway Patrol.

According to a CHP statement, the driver — Kelley Robert Smith, 23, of Tahoe City — lost control “for reasons related to (his) intoxication” while traveling westbound “at a high rate of speed.”

The Subaru crossed into the eastbound lane and left the roadway to the south of Highway 28, west of Robert Avenue, colliding with several smaller trees before hitting the wooden pole.

Koenig was “immediately pronounced” dead due to “his obvious fatal injuries,” according to CHP.

A second passenger, Tony Thompson, 25, also of Tahoe City, was uninjured. According to CHP, Koenig was not wearing a seatbelt; Smith and Thompson were.

Smith suffered minor injuries and was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

His blood alcohol content was measured at 0.15 and 0.14, nearly twice California’s legal limit of 0.08, according to field sobriety tests officers conducted at the time of his arrest at about 3:25 a.m., said CHP Public Information Officer Pete Mann.

Those levels may differ, however, from the official chemical test, the results of which would be used in court.

Smith was booked into Placer County Jail in Auburn without incident. He bail is set at $250,000.

An arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Auburn, according to the jail.

Placer County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Cattran has been assigned to the case. On Tuesday, Cattran said he wasn’t able to attend the arraignment. A pretrial hearing is set for 10 a.m. on April 21 in Tahoe City, Cattran said.

Smith’s bail remains at $250,000, Cattran said.

The Sun was unable to reach Smith’s attorney for comment for this story.

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