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John Stewart

John Stewart

One year after John Stewart, a retired Napa public servant, was killed while crossing Soscol Avenue on foot, the driver of the pickup truck that hit him has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Napa Police announced Monday that an extensive investigation by the department’s Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team had determined that the driver had failed to stop at a stop sign and had failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk.

Stewart, 68, died of injuries sustained on May 31, 2018 as he was crossing four-lane Soscol Avenue near Tanen Street.

Police said they completed their investigation in January and referred the case to the Napa County District Attorney’s Office, which filed charges against the motorist, Logan Ross, 29, of Napa.

Ross is accused of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, a stop sign violation and a crosswalk infraction.

Ross was arraigned on these charges in Napa County Superior Court on Monday, police said in a news release.

No one was available at the District Attorney’s Office Monday afternoon to talk about the case and possible penalties that Ross faces.

Napa Police said Ross’ alleged failure to stop for the stop sign at Tanen Street and failing to yield to the pedestrian in the unmarked crosswalk “led to the death of John Stewart, who had lawfully walked to the intersection, waited for traffic to pass, then crossed in the unmarked crosswalk.”

Police said surveillance video from a nearby business played a vital role in the case.

Following the collision, Ross remained at the scene, police noted.

Stewart, who left behind a wife and three adult daughters, had spent a career in public service. He had worked as a civil engineer with Napa County, then managed the City of Napa’s Water Department. He later managed Napa Sanitation District.

In retirement, Stewart was a volunteer and leader with the Los Carneros Water District, guiding efforts to bring reclaimed water to the Carneros region.

He was a Napa native, the son of Wilbur and Bertha Stewart, who raised him on their farming operation in the Carneros area. He graduated from Napa High School and attended UC Davis.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.