Felony charges filed in fatal car crash | TheUnion.com

Felony charges filed in fatal car crash

Felony charges have been filed against a Grass Valley man whose girlfriend was killed in an Oct. 21 accident in which he was the driver.

The Contra Costa Superior Court issued an $85,000 warrant Dec. 6 for the arrest of Emmet Stark Farrell, 20, of Camptonville, Gary Koeppel, an assistant district attorney, said Friday.

The Contra Costa District Attorney charged Farrell, Dec. 6, with felony vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of marijuana and alcohol, driving in excess of 80 mph and with bad conduct.

Farrell was taken by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek after the accident in which his girlfriend, Christa Griffiths, 27, a Grass Valley artist and dancer, was killed.

Griffiths’ 1992 Toyota Four-Runner crashed into the center divider of Interstate 80 near Highway 4 while Farrell was driving.

The couple was returning to Grass Valley from a visit with his family in the Bay Area. The freeway was closed down for an hour after the 2:25 a.m. wreck.

Farrell spent several days in the hospital with injuries before he was taken to Contra Costa County Jail on Oct. 25. He was released within 48 hours pending completion of the Highway Patrol’s investigation into the accident, Koeppel said.

The CHP sent its report to the district attorney’s office in late November, Cliff Kroeger, public affairs officer in the Martinez unit, said.

Farrell could face anywhere from probation and some local county jail time of less than a year to six years in a state prison.

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