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Motorist charged with vehicular manslaughter

Motorist charged with vehicular manslaughter

Klingman could face up to a year in jail if convicted

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A motorist involved in a fatal collision that killed a St. Helena cyclist on Deer Park Road last summer has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, according to court records.

Kimberly Karen Klingman, 40, of Napa, is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 6 in Napa County Superior Court on one count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. The penalty for the allegation if convicted is up to a year in jail, according to the complaint.

On Aug. 18, Klingman was driving a 2010 BMW on Aug. 18 on Deer Park Road when she collided with Richard Arthur Becker, 54, of St. Helena, at the intersection of Deer Park and Sanitarium roads, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Becker died about 90 minutes later at St. Helena Hospital, according to the CHP.  Klingman was eastbound on Deer Park Road when she collided with Becker who was coming down on his bike in the opposite direction on Deer Park Road, the CHP reported.

Becker, who left behind a wife and a son, was an asset director for MMR Power Solutions, a company based in Baton Rouge, La., according to his obituary. He was active in St. Helena where he volunteered for the St. Helena Little League and participated in local politics.

Becker was a member of the 2010 St. Helena School Board Recall Committee, a campaign that successfully recalled four out of five school board members. He was also a member of the Napa County Taxpayers Association.  After his death, Becker’s family asked that donations be made in his memory to the Vine Trail Coalition, a nonprofit that is raising funds to build a bike trail from Calistoga to Vallejo.

Becker’s death occurred three months after another cyclist was killed in a collision with a vehicle Upvalley.

In May, Alfredo Pedroza, 56, of Napa, was killed as he rode his bike southbound on the Silverado Trail south of Pine Ridge Winery. Driver Cammie Mutz allegedly drifted off of her southbound lane and collided with Pedroza, according to the CHP. Mutz has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, according to the Napa County district attorney’s office. Her first court appearance is Wednesday.

Pedroza, the father of incoming Napa City Councilmember Alfredo Pedroza, was pronounced dead at the scene.

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