If you ask San Mateo County prosecutors, the chief executive officer of a neighborhood social networking website wasn’t exactly a good neighbor to a woman driving in the lane next to him on Highway 101 in Brisbane back in August.
An unsafe lane change made by Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia on Aug. 4, 2013, caused another motorist to spin out of control and into a cement center divider, where the driver suffered broken bones and injuries, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Wednesday.
Tolia’s vehicle did not strike the other driver’s vehicle, but Wagstaffe said Tolia’s lane change attempt caused the other vehicle to spin out of control.
San Mateo County prosecutors filed one felony hit and run count against Tolia this morning, because after the incident near the Candlestick off ramp of northbound Highway 101, Tolia continued driving and failed to stop to help, Wagstaffe said.
“Clearly this was an accident, there was no malicious intent, but the crime is failing to stay at the scene,” Wagstaffe said. “The law does require that one stay on the scene.”
He said that in a case like this where there is only property damage and no injury, it would be a misdemeanor charge, but since injury did occur the count becomes a felony.
A felony hit and run charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Tolia has no criminal record, Wagstaffe said.
Tolia was sent a notice to appear by the clerk Wednesday morning. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment on May 28.