Crime

Sonora physician is finally sentenced in 2016 crash that killed three near La Grange

Three people died from this crash on La Grange Road near Don Pedro Reservoir late Friday afternoon, Oct. 21, 2016. The crash was caused by a driver passing illegally, the CHP says.
Three people died from this crash on La Grange Road near Don Pedro Reservoir late Friday afternoon, Oct. 21, 2016. The crash was caused by a driver passing illegally, the CHP says. California Highway Patrol

Sonora physician Danny Mundall Anderson got five years, four months in state prison for his role in a 2016 crash that killed three people near La Grange.

Judge Donald Segerstrom imposed the sentence Friday, Jan. 18, in Tuolumne County Superior Court. It came about six months after a jury found Anderson, 71, guilty of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and other charges.

The accident killed Trista Hoffman, then 16, of La Grange; her mother, Tina Hoffman, 51; and Rheinholt Eisemann, 72, of Copperopolis.

The sentencing had been delayed while the defense sought a new trial. The judge denied that motion Friday.

The prosecution said an unsafe passing maneuver by Anderson led to the Oct. 21, 2016, accident on La Grange Road near Don Pedro Reservoir.

The California Highway Patrol reported that Anderson was driving north in an Acura when he tried to pass a Toyota across a solid double-yellow line. A southbound Lexus swerved to avoid the Acura and overturned, and the Toyota collided with the Lexus, the CHP said.

The Hoffmans were in the Lexus and died at the scene. Eisemann was in the Toyota and died later at a hospital. Three other people had serious injuries.

Anderson also was convicted of hit and run causing death or great bodily injury, reckless driving causing injury, and delaying and obstructing an investigation.

The prosecution sought a sentence of 10 years, four months. District Attorney Laura Krieg said by phone Tuesday that it was merited by the “extreme loss of life” and Anderson’s failure to take responsibility.

“I know that the court put a lot of thought into the decision, and we respect the court’s decision,” she said.

John Holland covers breaking news and has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000. He has covered agriculture for the Bee and at newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a journalism degree from UC Berkeley.

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