EAST PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – A driver who struck and killed a motorcyclist in East Palo Alto on Wednesday morning while fleeing police was scheduled to be charged Friday with murder, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
Eric Banford, a 46-year-old East Palo Alto resident, will be charged with second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, felony evading a police officer and felony hit-and-run, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.READ MORE: Social Housing May Be A Fix For San Francisco's Housing Affordability Crisis
Banford also has two prior strikes for felony convictions. He was convicted of manslaughter in 1991, and of robbery in 1987, Wagstaffe said.
The murder charge was justified, in part, Wagstaffe said, by the act that Banford was allegedly using drugs at the time of the crash, which killed East Palo Alto resident Danny Lee Dixon.
Banford was allegedly trying to evade police when the Land Rover he was driving struck Dixon’s motorcycle at Bay Road and University Avenue at 5:25 a.m., according to police. Dixon, 50, was declared dead at the scene.READ MORE: UPDATE: Police Arrest Suspect After Knife-Wielding Man Flees 2-Alarm Apartment Fire In San Francisco's Castro
The incident was the first of two fatal crashes in East Palo Alto on Wednesday.
Six-year-old Sioreli Torres was struck and killed in a crosswalk on Bay Road at Gloria Way shortly after 8 a.m. by a car driven by teacher Alisha Whiteparker.
Wagstaffe said police were still investigating that incident, and would turn it over to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office for review to determine if any charges were appropriate.MORE NEWS: COVID: California Allows For Some Fans At Ballparks, Limited Capacity At Amusement Parks April 1
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