Driver won’t face criminal charges

Although the senior citizen who plowed into a group of children outside Ralston Middle School on May 2 will not face criminal charges for the accident, his driver’s license may be revoked.

As is often the case following traffic accidents, the Belmont Police Department requested that 70-year-old Mauro Yan undergo a driving re-examination to determine whether he is competent behind the wheel of a vehicle.

On Wednesday, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he had closed the case and that the district attorney would not press charges against Yan.

“After reading the witness statements, reviewing the case and visiting the accident scene, I do not believe that criminal charges are warranted based on the facts of the case,” he said.

Yan lost control of his 2004 Honda Pilot on May 2. The vehicle jumped a parking-lot curb, crashing into a group of eighth-graders, trapping three under the carriage of the vehicle and injuring several others nearby. In all, 13 students were transported to local hospitals with injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to a broken pelvis and a lacerated kidney.

Belmont police Lt. Dan DeSmidt said a request for re-examination of Yan’s license was placed with the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as theinvestigation was completed and found that no mechanical problems were at fault.

Yan still has a valid driver’s license, because it was not revoked by the Belmont Police Department, but a failed test will lead to its revocation.

Ralston Middle School parent Bruce Solomon — whose son is graduating on Friday — said he never felt Yan had committed a crime.

“I don’t think it was malicious, I don’t think it was intentional. He didn’t want it to happen,” Solomon said. “Hopefully if any of us made a mistake, someone would stand back and look at whether it was intentional or not.”

According to the DMV, Yan has approximately 10 days from the issuing of the notice for re-examination to schedule an appointment. If he passes the test, his license will be renewed for regular use.

Each year, approximately 80,000 of these examinations are given, and in 2005, 45,000 licenses were revoked as a result.

The most common referrals come from law enforcement departments, physicians and family members.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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