Driver jailed after fatal I-80 crash |

Driver jailed after fatal I-80 crash

A 20-year-old Nevada City man was booked into Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez Friday afternoon after being released from a Walnut Creek hospital.

Emmet Stark Farrell was arrested at 3:09 a.m. Monday for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and for driving under the influence, said California Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Cliff Kroeger.

A 2:25 a.m. accident on Interstate 80 near Highway 4 claimed the life of Christa Griffiths, 27, a Grass Valley dancer, artist and jewelry designer. The couple were returning from visiting Farrell’s family in the Bay Area.

Griffiths died of massive head injuries after she was ejected from the car, Kroeger said. She was not hit by any other vehicle, according to CHP reports. Kroeger said it was unclear whether Griffiths was wearing a seat belt.

Farrell was transported by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he remained in fair condition with head lacerations and a broken clavicle until Friday, a nursing supervisor said.

The vehicle, a 1992 Toyota 4-Runner registered to Griffiths, may have been traveling more than 80 mph when it hit the center divider and overturned, according to CHP reports. The freeway was closed for an hour after the wreck.

The results of Farrell’s blood test had not come back as of Friday afternoon, Kroeger said.

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