A diabetic man who officials say suffered an insulin reaction and crashed his pickup into several cars was charged with driving under the influence for the fiery wreck that killed two people.
John Mayfield, 52, of Paso Robles, flipped his truck on a freeway off-ramp in downtown San Jose on July 10, authorities said.
The truck rammed into another vehicle carrying two 20-year-olds, Mary Bernstein and Robert Conway, who were stopped at the light. Both vehicles and two others nearby exploded into flames.
Just before the crash, Mayfield had tested his blood sugar and, after learning it was high, injected insulin he bought at a drug store, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
The report states that he then became confused, and witnesses said he had been driving erratically before exiting the freeway. There was no evidence of drug or alcohol use, the CHP said.
Mayfield was charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of insulin while causing injury. If convicted, he could face as much as 16 years in prison.
“There’s a part of me that feels sympathy for this man,” said Lisa Bernstein, the mother of one of the victims.
“I don’t think he’s a monster. But if you’re a diabetic like he is, you know the score and you should take responsibility for yourself,” she said.Mayfield’s attorney, Allen Ruby, declined to comment Wednesday.