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Man charged with felony manslaughter for fatal crash in Dublin

Prosecutors: Counts include deadly DUI, child endangerment as toddler was in SUV at time it struck pedestrian
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A Livermore man now faces formal charges including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for allegedly striking and killing a pedestrian while driving drunk with his wife and toddler daughter in the car in Dublin last summer, Livermore Vine has learned.

Giovanni Fissore, 42, was arrested in the immediate aftermath of the collision on Dougherty Road that killed Roni Gage on July 31, but he was soon out of custody pending the completion of the police investigation and a charging decision by prosecutors.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office filed a criminal complaint against Fissore in October with three felony counts, one misdemeanor and two special allegations.

Fissore, who is not currently in custody at the Santa Rita Jail according to sheriff's online records, has pleaded not guilty in the case. He had a brief pretrial hearing last week, and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 2.

Attempts to identify and contact his defense counsel were not immediately successful.

The collision occurred just after 10 p.m. on July 31 near the 6300 block of Dougherty Road, about a half-mile north of the major Dublin thoroughfare's intersection with Interstate 580.

Officers arrived to find that a female pedestrian -- later identified as 39-year-old Gage, of Dublin -- had been struck by a Chevrolet SUV while she was walking in the southbound lanes of Dougherty Road, not near an intersection or crosswalk, Dublin police said at the time. Gage was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fissore told investigators at the scene that he had just left a cousin's home in San Ramon about 10 minutes earlier and was driving home to Livermore with his wife and 2-year-old daughter in the vehicle, according to a probable cause declaration from Alameda County Sheriff's deputy Bodin Vimolchalao, who was assigned to Dublin Police Services under the city's contract with the sheriff's office.

The driver said he was driving approximately 35 to 40 mph in the far-right lane of southbound Dougherty Road when the crash happened, according to Vimolchalao.

"Just prior to the collision, Fissore was talking to his wife when he looked up at the road and saw a woman in the middle of his lane," the officer wrote. "Fissore said he swerved to his left to try to avoid the collision. He heard the impact of his vehicle hitting the victim and he pulled over to the side of the road as soon as he could."

Fissore allegedly told officers at the scene that he drank two glasses of wine that evening, with the most recent being about one hour earlier. However, according to Vimolchalao, the driver performed poorly on field sobriety tests and recorded blood-alcohol content readings by breathalyzer of 0.132% and 0.129% -- well above the legal driving limit of 0.08%.

He was placed under arrest that evening on suspicion of fatal DUI and child endangerment, the latter due to his daughter's presence in his car. The investigation continued through the summer until the case was forwarded to the DA's office and charges were filed on Oct. 11.

Fissore faces felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony DUI causing injury, felony driving with a 0.08%-plus blood-alcohol content causing injury and misdemeanor child abuse, as well as two special allegations related to the great bodily injury Gage suffered.




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About the Author: Jeremy Walsh

Jeremy, a Benicia native and American University alum, joined Embarcadero Media in November 2013. After serving as associate editor for the Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com, he was promoted to editor of the East Bay Division in February 2017.
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