The California Highway Patrol and the Solano County District Attorney's Office Wednesday arrested and charged the Chevrolet pickup truck driver who struck and killed CHP Officer Kirk Griess and a Saturn SUV driver on westbound Interstate 80 in Fairfield on Friday.
Sean Matthew Walker, 36, of Rocklin has been charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, according to the Solano County DA's Office. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
Griess, 46, a 19-year CHP veteran, and the Saturn driver, Jaime Manuel, 49, of Vallejo, died in the crash, which occurred around 9 a.m. Friday on the right shoulder of Interstate 80 near Manuel Campos Parkway after Griess had pulled over Manuel.
District Attorney Krishna Abrams said Walker was driving at a high rate of speed and was distracted by his cellphone when the collision occurred.
"He was driving at an excessive speed on the freeway while on his phone, and then he caused this accident and caused the deaths of these two innocent individuals," Abrams said.
The maximum sentence for gross vehicular manslaughter is six years for each count, but in California, a defendant cannot get the maximum for multiple counts, and in this case the total maximum would be seven years and four months, Abrams said.
A memorial account has been created for the family of Officer Griess through the California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) Credit Union. Donations can be made online at https://cahpcu.org/OfficerKirkGriessMemorial or may be mailed to the CAHP Credit Union, P.O. Box 276507, Sacramento, CA 95826.