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Los Angeles

Councilman Injures Pedestrian in Accident

September 20, 2002|KENNETH REICH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A La Verne city councilman whose car struck and critically injured a man pushing an empty wheelchair across the street is not expected to be charged, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said Thursday.

The accident took place about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of Bonita High School. Sharan Singh, 62, was airlifted unconscious to County-USC Medical Center, where he was said Thursday to be in critical condition.

La Verne police turned the matter over to the Highway Patrol because the driver, Patrick J. Gatti, is a city official.

Highway Patrol spokesman John Escobedo said that Singh was not in a crosswalk and that Gatti was going about 30 mph in a 35-mph zone.

"It does not appear that the driver was in violation of any laws," Escobedo said. Gatti had made a complete statement, and there was "no hint he was intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs," Escobedo said. The councilman was not taken into custody.

Gatti, 59, is a businessman in La Verne and has served on the City Council since 1982, according to a city clerk.

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