An Australian man, Luke Nardini, has been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter in San Mateo County, California. The charges stem from a collision on Highway 84 near La Honda, where Nardini allegedly drove on the wrong side of the road. The incident occurred around 5 p.m. on Friday evening.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, Nardini, 31, was driving east in the westbound lane of Highway 84 when he collided with a Ford Taurus carrying four people. The collision resulted in the death of two individuals. One man in the backseat of the Taurus was pronounced dead at the scene, while a woman sitting next to him later died at a hospital.
The victims have been identified as Jack Davis and Linda Davis, both 80 years old and residents of La Honda. The Taurus’ front-seat passenger suffered a concussion, while the driver was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons.
Nardini, who suffered a broken back in the crash, had been driving a BMW M4. Prosecutors stated that Nardini encountered a road closure of the eastbound lane and failed to move back to the right side of the road, as they drive on the left in Australia. He continued driving east in the westbound lane for approximately 1.8 miles, reaching a speed of 55-60 mph, exceeding the 45 mph speed limit in the area.
The collision occurred when Nardini’s vehicle appeared directly in front of the Ford Taurus, which was traveling west around a sweeping curve. The Taurus’ driver attempted to swerve but was unable to avoid the head-on collision.
On Tuesday, Nardini appeared in an arraignment hearing at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City, where he pleaded not guilty to both misdemeanor charges. Bail was set at $20,000. Australian news sources have reported that Nardini is a racecar driver in Western Australia.