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Reckless driver charged with manslaughter

Staff Reports

Sacramento resident Mario Keola was arraigned in Superior Court in Downieville last week for an accident at the Highway 89 north offramp in late September that left one female dead and severely injured three others.

Keola was charged with one count of second degree murder, one count of vehicular manslaughter, four counts of felony driving while under the influence, four counts of felony for evading authorities and additional counts of vehicle theft, receiving stolen property and driving while unlicensed, according to a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol.

If convicted, Keola faces a prison term of 15 years to life.

The incident occurred Sept. 25, 1998, when Keola was allegedly under the influence of illicit drugs while operating a 1997 Cadillac Coupe Deville, which he had stolen earlier in the Reno area, the report said.

Truckee CHP Officer John Sattler attempted to stop Keola as he drove west on Interstate 80 near Prosser Village Road.

Keola attempted to evade the officer by driving recklessly north on Highway 89.

However, the pursuit ended when Keola crossed into the opposing traffic lane and collided head-on with another car, a 1994 Pontiac Bonneville.

All four occupants of the Pontiac suffered severe injuries, said CHP officials, and Janice Fulton of Yerington, Nev., died as a result of her injuries.

Keola also suffered serious injuries. He is currently incarcerated in the Vacaville State Prison for a violation of parole.

For information, contact the Truckee CHP office at (530) 587-3518.


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