Two counts of vehicular manslaughter should be filed against a San Bruno man who fell asleep at the wheel triggering a ‘Black Friday’ crash that killed his two daughters, the California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Art Montiel said an investigation of the Nov. 23, 2012 crash concluded Arvind Tandel’s actions had triggered the accident.
“We’re recommending (to the Santa Clara County D.A.) he be charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter,” he said.
Montiel said the investigation found that Tandel fell asleep at the wheel, lost control of his SUV, colliding with CHP car and overturning in the early hours of Nov. 23.
Nisha Tandel, 24, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Her sister, 20-year-old Sheetal Tandel, was rushed to Stanford Hospital where she succumbed hours later to her injuries.
Montiel said Arvind Tandel should have realized that he was placing his family in jeopardy. He had only gotten three hours of sleep before driving his family to a mall in the early morning hours to take advantage of ‘Black Friday’ sales.
“He’s used to getting 7-to-8 hours of sleep,” he said. “The evening prior to the crash he only got three hours of sleep. It’s gross negligence because he knew he was fatigued and drove anyway.”
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Cindy Henderickson said prosecutors were reviewing the results of the CHP investigation and would decide whether or not to file charges against Tandel.
The family had been gift shopping all night in Gilroy for Nisha Tandel's wedding that was to take place in India and were headed home to San Bruno around 6:49 a.m. when Tandel’s gold Lexus SUV crashed into a CHP vehicle that was pulled over on the right-hand of Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. The SUV then flipped multiple times before coming to a rest on its wheels near the Embarcadero Road off-ramp after the two sisters had been ejected.
Neither of them was wearing their seat belts. Arvind Tandel and his wife, Yogita Tandel, suffered major injuries while two other daughters suffered moderate injuries.
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