Posts Tagged ‘vehicular’

Gascon’s Boner: Kokkari-Boozing Drunk Driver Kills a Tourist Then Runs – But Only a Year in Jail for Joshua Calder?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Wow, this case ended up with a plea bargain for just twelve months in jail?

The case of Nils Linke used to be a BFD.

See? 

Click to expand

But late last month it evaporated into nothingness, into a simple jail term.

So, you can booze it up at world-famous Kokkari restaurant, run over a German tourist despite your gf yelling at you to look out, get out of the car to move the German tourist’s bike off of the road (no, not him himself, just the bike, you leave the dude himself to die), get back into the car after switching seats with the gf, and then drive away, and your punishment, years later, will be, what six months, eight months, in county jail because that’s what District Attorney George Gascon is willing to sign off on. No trial, no nothing, just a plea deal.

So what would Joshua Calder have gotten without the hitting and the running and the seat switching? Three months? Community service?

Mmmm….

WTF? Boozing, Pot-Smoking Joshua Calder Wasn’t DUI, Negligent Before Killing Nils Linke, Per Attorney

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

The San Francisco Examiner was on the scene today at a hearing for Joshua Calder. Looks like the People of the City and County of San Francisco are going to trial against him. Oh, and see what the Bay City News Service adds in, via The Bay Citizen.

Click to expand

So, for equal time, here’s another side to the story:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 18, 2011 – Petra Linke and Jüergen Schneider-Linke have filed a wrongful death lawsuit (case no.CGC-11-507332 [see SF StreetsBlog]) in San Francisco County Superior Court for the August 13th death of their son, 22-year-old Nils Yannick Linke, a German tourist who was fatally struck by a car while riding his bicycle on Masonic Avenue in San Francisco.  The suit, filed by The Veen Firm, names Joshua Calder, the vehicle’s driver; Nicole Mairs, Calder’s girlfriend who was a passenger in the vehicle; and June Soelberg, the vehicle’s registered owner.  Calder is facing criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident; he remains free on $500,000.00 bail.

“The defendants willfully got behind the wheel of a car after an evening of drinking and struck down Nils as he rode his bike.  They left the scene of the accident without rendering any assistance or calling for help.  The result is this young man’s tragic death.  While Calder is being tried in a criminal court, all of the defendants are also guilty of negligence.” said Kevin Lancaster of The Veen Firm.

On Aug. 13, 2010, Calder and Mairs had dinner in San Francisco, consuming two bottles of wine, a champagne cocktail, a beer and two shots of liqueur.  After leaving the restaurant, Calder was driving a Mercedes-Benz, registered to Mairs’ grandmother, June Soelberg.  While driving down Masonic Avenue, Calder struck Linke from behind.  Linke’s bike had a flashing white light on it.

The complaint alleges that Calder collided into Linke, causing him to hit the windshield before he landed in the street.  Calder then pulled the car to the side of the road and checked on Linke, who was convulsing and bleeding from the nose and ears.  Instead of rendering aid or calling for help, Calder moved the mangled bicycle to the side of the road, and returned to the car.  Mairs took over driving and sped away from the scene of the accident.

A few blocks away, police officers stopped the car.  Calder was arrested for driving under the influence; more than two hours after the accident his blood alcohol content was .10 percent.  His blood also tested positive for cannibinoids.

Linke was transported by the San Francisco Police Department Medic to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“Clearly this tragedy is a direct result of Maris’ and Calder’s blatant disregard for the safety of others.  However, this case also highlights the need for safer streets for bicyclists in the city.  For years, safety advocates and residents of Masonic Avenue have been attempting to get the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to implement more traffic calming measures in the area.  For instance, the area between Fell and Geary on Masonic has ranked as the tenth highest corridor for bicycle collisions for the past five years.  Due to the efforts of groups such as Bike NOPA, SF Bike Coalition, Fix Masonic, and others, many changes have been made and more are in the works.  The streets should be safe for all roadway users, including bicyclists,” added Lancaster.

The Veen Firm focuses on recovering damages for the catastrophically injured and has since 1975.  The firm specializes in catastrophic injury, construction accident, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, negligence, premises liability, product liability, toxic exposure and wrongful death cases. For more information visit:  http://www.veenfirm.com

And here’s some background from last year. (I don’t know how many continuances this case has had, but it’s best for everyone to get it tried quickly, right?)

“Wow, writer Brent Begin is all over the case of Nils Linke, who was  killed in a collision with the Mercedes-driving Joshua Calder last Friday. Here are the latest allegations made public.

First the “booze-soaked dinner” at Kokkari:

“Investigators pulled the receipt for the meal, which included two bottles of wine, shots of liquor and after-dinner drinks, according to documents.”

And then the alleged seat switching:

“Witnesses report seeing Calder smash into the back of Linke and his bicycle, then getting out of the driver’s seat, moving the bike to the side of the road, then switching seats with his girlfriend before fleeing the scene.”

Was the SFPD able to pull prints off of the bicycle? If so, this is not your typical hit-and-run felony case, that’s for sure.

Wonder how up-to-speed the staff at Kokkari is about California law. We may soon find out….

CA Business and Professions Code 25602:

(a) Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to
be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any
habitual or common drunkard or to any obviously intoxicated person is
guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) No person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold,
furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage pursuant to
subdivision (a) of this section shall be civilly liable to any
injured person or the estate of such person for injuries inflicted on
that person as a result of intoxication by the consumer of such
alcoholic beverage.
(c) The Legislature hereby declares that this section shall be
interpreted so that the holdings in cases such as Vesely v. Sager (5
Cal. 3d 153), Bernhard v. Harrah’s Club (16 Cal. 3d 313) and Coulter
v. Superior Court (____ Cal. 3d ____) be abrogated in favor of prior
judicial interpretation finding the consumption of alcoholic
beverages rather than the serving of alcoholic beverages as the
proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated
person.

CA Business and Professions Code 25602.1:

Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 25602, a cause
of action may be brought by or on behalf of any person who has
suffered injury or death against any person licensed, or required to
be licensed, pursuant to Section 23300, or any person authorized by
the federal government to sell alcoholic beverages on a military base
or other federal enclave, who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to
be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage, and any
other person who sells, or causes to be sold, any alcoholic beverage,
to any obviously intoxicated minor where the furnishing, sale or
giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of the
personal injury or death sustained by that person.

CA Civil Code 1714:

(a) Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his
or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by
his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or
her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully
or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or
herself. The design, distribution, or marketing of firearms and
ammunition is not exempt from the duty to use ordinary care and skill
that is required by this section. The extent of liability in these
cases is defined by the Title on Compensatory Relief.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to abrogate the holdings
in cases such as Vesely v. Sager (1971) 5 Cal.3d 153, Bernhard v.
Harrah’s Club (1976) 16 Cal.3d 313, and Coulter v. Superior Court
(1978) 21 Cal.3d 144 and to reinstate the prior judicial
interpretation of this section as it relates to proximate cause for
injuries incurred as a result of furnishing alcoholic beverages to an
intoxicated person, namely that the furnishing of alcoholic
beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries resulting from
intoxication, but rather the consumption of alcoholic beverages is
the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an
intoxicated person.

(c) No social host who furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person
may be held legally accountable for damages suffered by that person,
or for injury to the person or property of, or death of, any third
person, resulting from the consumption of those beverages.”

The Euros, They Just Don’t Care: No Helmets, No Lights, Riding Side-By-Side Down Deadly Masonic Without a Care

Monday, July 18th, 2011

These chatty Euro-types are braver than I.

They’re from a cycling culture different from America’s, that’s for sure.

I was on the sidewalk* by the time they ended up taking up the slow lane of deadly Masonic southbound, languidly cruising side-by-side at about half the speed limit all the way to Fell.

Where Nils Linke died last year and James Hudson died this year:

I’m afraid of Masonic, myself. But that’s nothing a little reorganizing couldn’t fix.

Of course our corrupt SFMTA, the worst-run agency in town, has a plan for this part of Masonic. But it’s afraid to implement safety measures quickly and cheaply because that would lower support for what the SFMTA wants to do, which is to wait years and then spend years and eight figures (million$ per block) planting trees and whatnot.

To fight blight, or something.

To make area property owners happy.

Oh well.

At least by then, we’ll have our Target store on Masonic.

Right Charlize and Bullseye?

*As I’ve stated before these people died, all cyclists should be on the wide sidewalks of Masonic instead of actually being on Masonic betwixt Turk and Fulton, generally.

This is the White 2009 Hyundai Elantra Involved in This Morning’s Fatal Collision on Masonic near Turk

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry K. Lee has the early details and Terry McSweeny of KGO-TV has a video report.

This is the lane that goes through St. Mary’s between Stanyan and Shrader:

Click to expand

The owner of the white Hyundai (CA 6HOT660) resides in the Chinatown / Nob Hill area, one might assume.

And here’s one of the cars that driver Jose Jimenez hit on Clayton near Fell Street when he was traveling from the hit and run scene to St. Mary’s. This two-ton minivan was pushed a foot or two so the impact speed must have been fairly high:

More Details Emerge Regarding the Death of Cyclist Nils Yannick Linke Near the Intersection of Turk and Masonic

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I’ll tell you, I’m ignorant of any changes made by the City and County at or near the intersection of Turk and Masonic (before or) after the night Nils Yannick Linke was killed that would have changed anything.

Anyway, consider the below a kind of opening statement if the wrongful death suit doesn’t settle.

The intersection of Turk and Masonic:

Click to expand

“SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 18, 2011 – Petra Linke and Jüergen Schneider-Linke have filed a wrongful death lawsuit (case no. CGC-11-507332 [see SF StreetsBlog]) in San Francisco County Superior Court for the August 13th death of their son, 22-year-old Nils Yannick Linke, a German tourist who was fatally struck by a car while riding his bicycle on Masonic Avenue in San Francisco.  The suit, filed by The Veen Firm, names Joshua Calder, the vehicle’s driver; Nicole Mairs, Calder’s girlfriend who was a passenger in the vehicle; and June Soelberg, the vehicle’s registered owner.  Calder is facing criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident; he remains free on $500,000.00 bail.

“The defendants willfully got behind the wheel of a car after an evening of drinking and struck down Nils as he rode his bike.  They left the scene of the accident without rendering any assistance or calling for help.  The result is this young man’s tragic death.  While Calder is being tried in a criminal court, all of the defendants are also guilty of negligence.” said Kevin Lancaster of The Veen Firm.

On Aug. 13, 2010, Calder and Mairs had dinner in San Francisco, consuming two bottles of wine, a champagne cocktail, a beer and two shots of liqueur.  After leaving the restaurant, Calder was driving a Mercedes-Benz, registered to Mairs’ grandmother, June Soelberg.  While driving down Masonic Avenue, Calder struck Linke from behind.  Linke’s bike had a flashing white light on it.

The complaint alleges that Calder collided into Linke, causing him to hit the windshield before he landed in the street.  Calder then pulled the car to the side of the road and checked on Linke, who was convulsing and bleeding from the nose and ears.  Instead of rendering aid or calling for help, Calder moved the mangled bicycle to the side of the road, and returned to the car.  Mairs took over driving and sped away from the scene of the accident.

A few blocks away, police officers stopped the car.  Calder was arrested for driving under the influence; more than two hours after the accident his blood alcohol content was .10 percent.  His blood also tested positive for cannibinoids.

Linke was transported by the San Francisco Police Department Medic to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“Clearly this tragedy is a direct result of Maris’ and Calder’s blatant disregard for the safety of others.  However, this case also highlights the need for safer streets for bicyclists in the city.  For years, safety advocates and residents of Masonic Avenue have been attempting to get the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to implement more traffic calming measures in the area.  For instance, the area between Fell and Geary on Masonic has ranked as the tenth highest corridor for bicycle collisions for the past five years.  Due to the efforts of groups such as Bike NOPA, SF Bike Coalition, Fix Masonic, and others, many changes have been made and more are in the works.  The streets should be safe for all roadway users, including bicyclists,” added Lancaster.

The Veen Firm focuses on recovering damages for the catastrophically injured and has since 1975.  The firm specializes in catastrophic injury, construction accident, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, negligence, premises liability, product liability, toxic exposure and wrongful death cases. For more information visit:  http://www.veenfirm.com

Joshua Calder’s Mouthpiece Has Gotten Four Continuances? Learn About the Tragic Death of Nils Linke on Craigslist

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The writer of a recent Rant and Rave on craigslist jumps to a few conclusions but also offers helpful information about how the owner of the car that killed cyclist Nils Linke in August has not yet been charged with any crime (will a different DA make a different call? Mmmm…) and about how the long march to justice has been interrupted four times already.

We’ve certainly failed German visitor Nils Linke, whether by

California’s dram shop laws specifically written to shield restaurant owners and workers from liability pretty much no matter how they behave, or

by city engineers who refused to do anything about the safety situation on southbound Masonic at Turk because, for some reason, they’d prefer to do an aesthetic makeover for $20,000,000.00(!) in a couple or three or four years and they want to use safety as a rationale so they’re not about to increase safety quickly and cheaply cause that will lessen the impetus for the aesthetic changes that local property owners want, or

by a DMV and court system that considers driving a right and not a privilege. (Some other countries have a different approach of course)

Oh well.

Anyway, here’s the post from yesterday:

“The tragic death of Nils Linke

Date: 2010-12-28, 1:15PM PST

Asking Bay Area cyclists to write letters to the DA in the Nils Linke case.

According to news reports, Joshua Calder (and his girlfriend) drank two bottles of wine, multiple shots of liquor and after-dinner drinks, before driving home.

He then hit Nils Linke of Germany who was riding a bicycle.

After getting out of the vehicle to move the bicycle, Mr. Calder changed places with his girlfriend, to conceal the fact that he’d been at the wheel.

They left Nils to die, not stopping to offer any assistance or to call for an ambulance. Sadly, she is not being prosecuted as well.

Mr. Calder’s friends and family are now trying to paint him as a responsible individual who made a tragic mistake and is remorseful, when drinking that much and taking the wheel shows a callous disregard for anyone but yourself.

Please write and ask that Mr. Calder be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. LETTERS WILL HELP. A prosecutor is much less likely to make any sort of deal if they think the public is closely following this case. The case has been continued 4 times, no doubt in an attempt by Calder’s attorneys to keep it out of the public eye.

Michael Swart
San Francisco District Attorney’s Office
Hall of Justice
850 Bryant Street, Room 322
San Francisco, CA 94103

News articles about the case:
http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/crime/2010/11/german-cyclist-s-death-found-be-homicide

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/hit-and-run-driver-reportedly-had-large-alcohol-tab-hitting-cyclist

What, Exactly, is Drunk Driver Joshua Calder Remorseful For? The Killing, the Running, the Bike Moving?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Brent Begin continues coverage of Joshua Calder’s vehicular homicide on Masonic Avenue on August 13th, 2010.

Now, one of the lessons for defense teams from the Johannes Mehserle case has got to be the importance of making a display of  remorse early on, before all the details are even established, through proxies if need be. Thusly

Josh is so remorseful for what happened, and I know that the memory [of] the events of that horrific night eats Josh up daily,” his girlfriend said. “Every moment, Josh’s thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nils Linke.”

I wonder, is there anyone else out there remorseful for her actions on that night?

The Ghost Bike of Nils Yannick Linke:

Nils Yannick Linke, RIP:

Wow, Brent Begin Reports on Nils Linke’s Killer: Kokkari Boozing, Bike Moving, Seat Switching

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Wow, writer Brent Begin is all over the case of Nils Linke, who was  killed in a collision with the Mercedes-driving Joshua Calder last Friday. Here are the latest allegations made public.

First the “booze-soaked dinner” at Kokkari:

“Investigators pulled the receipt for the meal, which included two bottles of wine, shots of liquor and after-dinner drinks, according to documents.”

And then the alleged seat switching:

“Witnesses report seeing Calder smash into the back of Linke and his bicycle, then getting out of the driver’s seat, moving the bike to the side of the road, then switching seats with his girlfriend before fleeing the scene.”

Click to expand

Was the SFPD able to pull prints off of the bicycle? If so, this is not your typical hit-and-run felony case, that’s for sure.

Wonder how up-to-speed the staff at Kokkari is about California law. We may soon find out….

CA Business and Professions Code 25602:

(a) Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to
be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any
habitual or common drunkard or to any obviously intoxicated person is
guilty of a misdemeanor.
   (b) No person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold,
furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage pursuant to
subdivision (a) of this section shall be civilly liable to any
injured person or the estate of such person for injuries inflicted on
that person as a result of intoxication by the consumer of such
alcoholic beverage.
   (c) The Legislature hereby declares that this section shall be
interpreted so that the holdings in cases such as Vesely v. Sager (5
Cal. 3d 153), Bernhard v. Harrah’s Club (16 Cal. 3d 313) and Coulter
v. Superior Court (____ Cal. 3d ____) be abrogated in favor of prior
judicial interpretation finding the consumption of alcoholic
beverages rather than the serving of alcoholic beverages as the
proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated
person.

CA Business and Professions Code 25602.1:

Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 25602, a cause
of action may be brought by or on behalf of any person who has
suffered injury or death against any person licensed, or required to
be licensed, pursuant to Section 23300, or any person authorized by
the federal government to sell alcoholic beverages on a military base
or other federal enclave, who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to
be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage, and any
other person who sells, or causes to be sold, any alcoholic beverage,
to any obviously intoxicated minor where the furnishing, sale or
giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of the
personal injury or death sustained by that person.

CA Civil Code 1714:

(a) Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his
or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by
his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or
her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully
or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or
herself. The design, distribution, or marketing of firearms and
ammunition is not exempt from the duty to use ordinary care and skill
that is required by this section. The extent of liability in these
cases is defined by the Title on Compensatory Relief.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to abrogate the holdings
in cases such as Vesely v. Sager (1971) 5 Cal.3d 153, Bernhard v.
Harrah’s Club (1976) 16 Cal.3d 313, and Coulter v. Superior Court
(1978) 21 Cal.3d 144 and to reinstate the prior judicial
interpretation of this section as it relates to proximate cause for
injuries incurred as a result of furnishing alcoholic beverages to an
intoxicated person, namely that the furnishing of alcoholic
beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries resulting from
intoxication, but rather the consumption of alcoholic beverages is
the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an
intoxicated person.

(c) No social host who furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person
may be held legally accountable for damages suffered by that person,
or for injury to the person or property of, or death of, any third
person, resulting from the consumption of those beverages.

A Ghost Bike Appears at the Streetside Shrine for Nils Linke, Killed at Turk and Masonic Last Week

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The streetside shrine for Nils Linkeaka Yannick among his friends, now has a ghost bike.

[UPDATE: It's a mystery to me where it came from. See comments.] Seems as if this was a project from The Derailleurs: San Francisco Bay Area Bike Dance. A memorial ride is planned.

This is the scene at the intersection of Turk Street and Masonic Avenue this afternoon:

Click to expand

The four handbills reprinting news reports taped to poles in the area were methodically taken down, but this bike will be harder to remove so it should stick around a little longer.

R.I.P. Yannick.

The Start of a Streetside Shrine for Nils Linke, Killed at Turk and Masonic on Friday

Monday, August 16th, 2010

[UPDATE: SF StreetsBlog has details just disclosed by the SFPD:

“SFPD spokesperson Lt. Lyn Tomioka said Joshua Calder faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI, felony hit-and-run causing death and no proof of insurance.”]

Here are the details of the collision last Friday at Turk and Masonic that resulted in the death of 21-year-old cyclist Nils Linke of Germany.

And here is the scene last night, at the beginnings of a streetside shrine near where the collision occurred:

[UPDATE: It’s bigger now.]

Click to expand

And here are some of the posters at the intersection:

We should soon find out why the SFPD is charging the driver with vehicular manslaughter.