Investigation into fatal North Tahoe pedestrian crash could wrap soon
March 13, 2012
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. andamp;#8212; It could take a week or more before the investigation into the New Year’s Eve weekend fatal pedestrian accident on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe is complete, the deputy district attorney assigned to the case said Monday.andamp;#8220;We’re still working with (Nevada Highway Patrol) on all the reports from the investigation. Once we get all the reports, we then can come to an appropriate charging decision,andamp;#8221; said Michael Bolenbaker, of the Washoe County DA’s office.When asked about a timetable for that decision to be made, Bolenbaker said he couldn’t be sure, but he hoped andamp;#8220;sooner rather than later.andamp;#8221;andamp;#8220;Hopefully within a week,andamp;#8221; he said.According to previous reports, Christopher Torii Smith, 25, from Grass Valley, Calif., was driving a black 2006 Chevrolet pickup southbound (east toward Sand Harbor) on Highway 28 east of the Village Boulevard intersection shortly before 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, when he allegedly struck Linda S. Mathis and Robert C. Mathis, who were crossing from the east side. The Mathises, who were Incline residents, died from injuries suffered.Michael L. Becker and Michael Castillo with the Las Vegas Defense Group are listed as attorneys for Smith, Bolenbaker said.A message seeking comment was left early Tuesday afternoon with a secretary for the attorneys.Witness statements and evidence at the scene indicate the Mathises were in or close to the painted crosswalk located near the Tahoe Regional Transit Agency bus stop, near Radio Shack, when they were struck, according to published reports.Smith, who is suspected to be under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, was booked into Washoe County Jail on suspicion of two counts of DUI causing death and failure to yield to pedestrians; his bail was set at $60,200. He was released from jail during that weekend.If felony charges are filed, Bolenbaker said a preliminary hearing would be scheduled at the James V. Mancuso Justice Court in Incline Village.If misdemeanor charges are filed, then a misdemeanor trial would be held.