An Antioch man was charged this week with gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with a daytime crash at the intersection of Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon roads that killed San Ramon resident and Arroyo High School teacher Susan Guinee nearly three months ago.
After reviewing findings of the San Ramon Police Department investigation, which was completed earlier this month, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office filed one felony count against 32-year-old Jeffrey Roy Adelmann in superior court on Tuesday.
Senior deputy district attorney Simon O'Connell told DanvilleSanRamon.com on Friday that the fatal collision on May 5 rose to the level of a felony because of especially negligent driving, alleging Adelmann was drowsy and ignored his passenger's pleas to stop driving before he "plowed through a solid red light at a very high speed."
Adelmann surrendered to authorities on Thursday and was released from jail custody on bail, according to San Ramon police Lt. Tami Williams. It was not immediately clear when Adelmann's arraignment will be or whether he is represented by an attorney yet.
This week was the first time police or prosecutors publicly revealed Adelmann's identity -- San Ramon police, like other law enforcement in the Tri-Valley, do not release the names of drivers under investigation for causing a traffic collision unless and until criminal charges are filed, citing privacy reasons.
In the wake of the initial news coverage, DanvilleSanRamon.com received emails from two people purporting to have been a witness or knew witnesses to the crash and saying the fault was opposite and Guinee actually ran the red light. When asked at the time, San Ramon police discredited those claims as contrary to the evidence including video footage of the intersection.
Upon further review of those emails, now that the defendant's name has been confirmed, the sender of a May 23 email identified themselves at that time as "Jeff Adelmann." Multiple messages to that email account, including one on Friday, were unanswered to date.
"The driver of the truck didnt (sic) run a red he in fact had a green can you please correct your post/article. Thank you. There are multiple witnesses that support that. So please correct your article," the emailer identified as Jeff Adelmann wrote. The email did not indicate that the sender was a party to the collision or related to anyone involved.
The nearly 2-1/2-month investigation began on that fateful afternoon on May 5 at the highly traveled intersection on the west side of San Ramon.
A truck driven by Adelmann traveling eastbound on Crow Canyon Road ran a red light going straight at approximately 12:15 p.m., according to San Ramon police.
At that same moment, a car driven by Guinee was attempting to turn westbound onto Crow Canyon Road from Bollinger Canyon Road with the green light when it was struck by the truck, police said.
Guinee, 56, died at the scene. A mom with one son and caregiver for her live-in mother, Guinee worked in the San Lorenzo Unified School District for 31 years, most recently teaching adapted and modified PE for students with special needs at Arroyo High.
Video camera footage at the high-profile intersection captured the collision, showing that the light in Adelmann's direction was red for three to four seconds before he drove through it at 57 mph in the 45 mph zone, according to O'Connell.
But police investigators needed to wait for the results of toxicology testing before forwarding the case to the DA's office for review, a process completed in mid-July.
The prosecutor alleged that Adelmann passed tests for drugs and alcohol but admitted to having smoked marijuana the night before, which authorities think could have been a factor in his reported drowsy driving. "This is not treated as an impairment case, but his recent use may have contributed to him having trouble keeping his eyes open at the wheel," O'Connell said.
O'Connell said the defendant's passenger observed him closing his eyes at the wheel that afternoon and "pleaded with him not to drive," to no avail.
The prosecutor said he expected Adelmann to be arraigned next week. His bail was set at $50,000 when the arrest warrant was issued.