The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office is under scrutiny after colleagues of Deputy James Council led him from a possible crime scene without drug or alcohol testing after he killed two bicyclists and almost killed a third. He was seen by witnesses driving erratically before plowing into the Third Pillar Racing Team. Some reported that he seemed in a daze by witnesses. Yet, he was treated in a starkly different fashion for most such potential defendants.
Council crossed the double yellow before hitting members of the Third Pillar Racing Team.
Matt Peterson, 29, of San Francisco, was a member of Roaring Mouse Cycles Team. The other two cyclists were Kristy Gough, 30, a San Leandro resident and member of the Third Pillar Racing team and Christopher Knapp, 20, a German national and member of the FC-Rheinland-Pfalz Racing Club.
At about 10:25 A.M., a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy heading the opposite direction in his cruiser crossed the double yellow line and drove head-on into the three cyclists. Matt Peterson was killed instantly; Kristy Gough’s left leg was severed, and Christopher Knapp sustained a broken arm and leg.
Council is described as wandering around saying that he must have fallen asleep as people struggled to save the lives of the injured.
As one cyclist was lying dead in the road, another lay dying, and a third was writhing in agony, the Deputy is reported to have paced the road, saying “my life is over” and “my
career is over.”
It was left to Brasse to administer first aid to Kristy Gough. His heroic efforts repeatedly kept her from slipping away as they waited for a helicopter to airlift her to Stanford; with his help, she valiantly clung to life, only to pass away later, at Stanford.
As Brasse was working to save Kristy’s life — one look told him that Peterson was already gone — Council continued to pace in a daze, telling gathering bystanders “I must have fallen asleep,” until another deputy steered him away from the gathering bystanders and advised him to stop talking.
The Sheriff’s office insists that they do not normally perform drug or alcohol tests unless such influence is suspected. Yet, it is unimaginable that a private citizen could allegedly be seen driving erratically, cross a yellow line, plow through a line of people, kill two, and wander about muttering to himself — and not be tested.
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