Misdemeanor trial set in fatal 2008 wreck | NevadaAppeal.com

Misdemeanor trial set in fatal 2008 wreck

F.T. Norton
ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com

A Silver Springs man is facing misdemeanor charges in a July 2008 fatal accident that claimed the life of a married father.

David Tonini, 54, will be tried Aug. 18 by Fernley Justice of the Peace Robert Bennett on charges of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and failure to maintain a lane.

According to police reports, on July 25, 2008, at 9:15 p.m., Tonini was southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 95 Alternate in Silver Springs when he ran head on into a vehicle driven by Margarito Mendoza Leon, 39, of Silver Springs.

Leon was pronounced dead at the scene. Two boys, 10 and 9 years old, also were in Leon’s vehicle and were taken to the hospital by helicopter.

Tonini, a former volunteer EMT with the Silver Springs Volunteer Fire Department until about 2004, was also transported to the hospital after fire crews cut him from the mangled wreckage of his 1997 Ford F250 pickup.

The troopers on scene reported smelling an odor of alcohol on Tonini, but because of his injuries, a blood test was not performed until hours after the accident. The results indicated a blood-alcohol level of .066 court records indicate. The legal limit in Nevada is .08.

Fernley Deputy District Attorney Brandy Jensen said absent a field sobriety test or other corroborating evidence to prove impairment, she was not able to charge Tonini with anything more than a misdemeanor.

“I can only charge what the law allows me. Without the physical evidence my hands are tied,” she said.

Tonini faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted on the two misdemeanor counts.

Tonini was not available for comment.