Criminal charges will likely be filed Friday against a driver who killed a motorcyclist on Wednesday morning in East Palo Alto, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Eric Banford, 46, of East Palo Alto, was allegedly trying to evade police when the Land Rover he was driving struck a motorcycle at Bay Road and University Avenue at 5:25 a.m., East Palo Alto police spokeswoman Veronica Barries said.
The motorcyclist, East Palo Alto resident Danny Lee Dixon, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene. Barries said Banford has an extensive criminal history. She said the Police Department will investigate the circumstances of the chase and crash. Banford remains in custody in San Mateo County Jail and will be arraigned on Friday or Monday afternoon, Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said. Less than three hours after the motorcycle crash, a 6-year-old girl was fatally struck by a car driven by a teacher on her way to work –just a block away from where Dixon died. The girl, who was later identified as Sioreli Torres, was crossing Bay Road at Gloria Way in a crosswalk a few feet ahead of her mother and two younger sisters shortly after 8 a.m. when she was struck by an eastbound car, Barries said.
“She was on her way to school,” Barries said. Torres, a student at Green Oaks Academy, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, Alisha Whiteparker, 49, of East Palo Alto, was on her way to teach at Costano Elementary School, Barries said. She stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators. It is not yet clear what caused the accident. “It’s still all under investigation,” Barries said. “We’re taking a lot of things into account at this point.”
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