Our readers are probably aware that we blogged a few times in the recent past, about our client Deborah Reichle whose husband David Reichle was killed in a Los Angeles car accident on a Torrance street right outside his friend’s home Thanksgiving morning in 2008. David suffered severe brain injury and died five days after the jeep driven by Sara Sherbin struck him. Basically, Sherbin drove down a very wide and quiet residential street before hitting David. She claimed later that she didn’t see David getting out of his car and turning to talk to a friend on the sidewalk. Sherbin plowed through David and didn’t even stop after she hit him. Instead, she shot across the street before coming to a stop two houses away.
Deborah believes that the Torrance Police Department’s investigation was shoddy at best. Almost a year passed and Sherbin did not face any consequences — absolutely none — for her actions, which had turned the Reichle family’s life upside down. That changed recently when the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving charges against Sherbin.
California Penal Code
The California Penal Code defines vehicular manslaughter as follows.
192 (c) Vehicular Manslaughter: (1) Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 191.5, driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, and with gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence. (2) Driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, but without gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence.
Accident Victims Deserve Justice
In my opinion, Sherbin should be held both criminally and civilly liable for this incident, the serious personal injury caused and the way in which it has devastated the Reichle family. Deborah and her children watched David suffer a horrible, painful death. They lost David’s business, which he spent 23 years building. They have very little to fall back on but face huge medical and funeral bills, business expenses and attorneys fees. There is no question that Sara Sherbin should be held fully accountable for her actions. She was negligent and reckless and she should be made to take responsibility for it.
I commend the DA’s office for moving ahead with these criminal charges. I hope and pray that members of the Reichle family receive the justice and compensation they deserve for their tremendous loss.