Charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated were filed Wednesday against Hossein Tabrizi, in front of the Marriott Hotel on North Main Street.
Shortly before the fatal accident, other motorists had seen Tabrizi, now 54, of Walnut Creek, passed out in front of the wheel of his truck a couple of lies away. He had just finished his workday at a Newell Avenue tire shop, Senior Deputy District Attorney Bruce Flynn told the Contra Costa Times.
A witness shook Tabrizi awake. He continued driving and was pulled over shortly afterward on the freeway onramp at Olympic Boulevard by a Walnut Creek police officer, who saw no apparent signs of intoxication and sent Tabrizi on his way, the Times reported.
Toxicology tests showed Tabrizi was on the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam, the DA's office told the Times.
Killed in the crash was Sherry Hicks, 52, a Santa Barbara teacher. Hicks had been walking on North Main Street with a family group that included 24-year-old Sheng Hahn, who was hospitalized for more than a month with head and knee injuries.
Tabrizi is free on $250,000 bail and is represented by defense attorney William Gagen.