The driver of the Civic -- 48-year-old Pleasanton resident Ana Paula Munaretto -- sustained critical injuries and died at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley on the morning of Feb. 16. Munaretto was a kid club aide within Pleasanton Unified School District, according to district records. Her passenger son survived the collision but also suffered serious injuries.
The investigation into the fatal crash continued for months afterward and resulted in Mangabay being charged criminally by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office on July 14 with a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter, the Weekly has confirmed.
Mangabay was scheduled to appear in Alameda County Superior Court in Dublin this week for a pretrial hearing, with results pending as of press time. It is not immediately clear whether he is yet represented by an attorney.
Munaretto's death was the first traffic fatality of 2022 on Pleasanton city streets.
Police reported the collision occurred at around 6:50 a.m. Feb. 14 on Hopyard Road in the area of the Stoneridge Drive intersection, which is where the speed limit northbound shifts from 40 mph to 45 mph. Mangabay's Impala was found to be going 64 mph, according to police.
"Traffic at the time was light to medium. This time of day is when commute traffic starts impacting the thoroughfares of Pleasanton. Traveling 64 mph, at this time of the day is an unsafe speed based on the traffic conditions," Officer Joshua Christensen wrote in a probable cause declaration filed with the court.
Police also allege that toxicology testing identified the presence of benzoylecgonine -- a compound created when the body starts to metabolize cocaine -- as well as recorded amounts of THC, which is associated with marijuana use, in Mangabay's system at the time of the crash, according to the probable cause declaration. However, any potential drug use did not translate into stronger criminal charges.
-- Jeremy Walsh
In other news
* A 71-year-old man died after suffering medical distress at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Alameda County sheriff's officials said last week.
Ali Muhammad was booked into the jail by Oakland police on July 16, 2020, on suspicion of attempted murder.
Deputies saw Muhammad in medical distress just before noon on Oct. 24, when he was out for recreation, according to the sheriff's office. He collapsed as he was talking with the deputies.
Deputies called for medical help and Muhammad was taken to the trauma room in the jail's medical clinic for treatment. But his condition worsened and he suffered a heart attack, sheriff's officials said.
Paramedics and firefighters came and began CPR and other lifesaving treatment. Muhammad was taken to a hospital where he was eventually placed on life support, according to the sheriff's office.
Following neurological tests on Oct. 30, Muhammad was removed from life support because the tests showed he had no brain activity. Doctors pronounced him dead at 1:13 p.m. Oct. 30.
Sheriff's officials believe Muhammad died from a medical condition and not foul play. The official cause of death will be made by the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau.
A suspect in the plot that killed dentist Lili Xu of Oakland died Oct. 28 in Santa Rita Jail. Nelson Chia, 73, killed himself. Chia apparently was Xu's boyfriend.
-- Keith Burbank, BCN
* The online wine seller Naked Wines has agreed to settle a consumer protection lawsuit brought by multiple district attorneys, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.
Officials said in a statement on Oct. 20 that Nakedwines.com, Inc. had settled a complaint alleging the company had not followed California's Automatic Renewal Law, which mandates certain notices for customers who enroll in programs with recurring payments.
The complaint was brought by the district attorneys of Alameda, Napa, Sonoma, Shasta and San Diego counties and was filed in San Diego County Superior Court.
Naked Wines was accused of violating the necessary notices for customers who enrolled in either of two programs with recurring billing: the "Wine Angel" program, which costs $40 a month, and the "Wine Genie" program, which offers recurring deliveries of amounts set by the customer.
Customers who signed up for the programs since April, 2017 can receive a refund by making a written request to Naked Wines.
The complaint alleged that both programs did not include pre-purchase disclosures about the recurring charges, as well as failed to adequately notify consumers after they enrolled, and failed to provide a simple online way to cancel the payments.
"My office is committed to and continues to take all measures to protect consumers from businesses that fail to follow the law. In this case, we are enforcing the California Automatic Renewal Law, which has proven to be an important protection and benefit to Californians," Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement.
"Consumers should always receive the required disclosures before and after agreeing to any contract that may result in months or years of recurring charges," O'Malley added.
Naked Wines agreed to pay $650,000 in civil and investigative costs.
Officials said the company was cooperative with the investigation and had implemented changes to its disclosures and sign-up process.
-- Bay City News Service
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