The Jury has begun deliberations in the case of a Utah man who is accused of causing a head on collision on the Highway 4 Bypass in Martinez that killed two, and then fleeing the scene back in June of 2010. The accused, John Bryan McDonald, 46, faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter with an enhancement for allegedly swerving into the lane in front of a westbound Honda Civic, forcing the driver to swerve into oncoming traffic. The Honda then collided head-on with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by Anthony Soldano of Burlingame. Soldano died at the scene, and his passenger Gina Blackstone of Brentwood died later that day at an Antioch hospital.

The distric attorney's office alleged that McDonald became enraged when the Honda twice cut him off, and in retaliation, he recklessly cut into the Honda's path. To avoid hitting McDonald's boat trailer, the 19 year old Honda driver swerved into oncoming traffic.

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After the fiery crash that left two dead, and the driver of the Honda with a broken femur, McDonald fled the scene. His vehicle and boat were tracked down by the California Highway Patrol, aided by stories in print and broadcast media and tips from the general public. The vehicle and the boat were both located in Southern California, and officers identified McDonald by his Utah license plates.

According to officials, McDonald was in California visiting family. After locating the car and boat, they were able to link McDonald to the accident. He is on trial for gross vehicular manslaughter for the two fatalities, and hit and run with great bodily injury for the driver of the Honda.

According to National Highway Traffic safety Administration statistics, auto accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. Victims of car accidents that are the result of another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior may be entitled to compensation. At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we have 50 years of litigation and trial experience. We have the expertise and a proven track record of success. If you or a loved one has been the victim of motor vehicle negligence and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

(Source: Mercury News, The Press)

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