Sacramento Police Detective Jonathon Nangle Charged After Collision On Interstate 5 That Killed Juan Rodriguez and Lionel Rodriguez

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (September 11, 2023) – A Sacramento police detective identified as Jonathon Nangle has been arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter.

The charges come after a 2022 car accident that killed two people. Jonathon Nangle was on-duty in an unmarked home retention vehicle traveling down Interstate 5.

The detective hit Juan Rodriguez and Lionel Rodriguez who were by the side of a pickup truck on the Interstate. Paramedics were called to the scene to help both victims. However, both men died due to their injuries.

Court documents indicate that Jonathon Nangle failed to maintain his vehicle in one lane while driving. A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.

The detective was also listed as a defendant in a 2021 lawsuit alleging he caused property damage and injury following a crash.


Liability For Sacramento Car Accidents With Police Officers

Thousands of people are killed or seriously injured every year in pedestrian accidents. Many of these collisions involve emergency vehicles. According to the National Safety Council, “In 2021, 198 people died in crashes involving emergency vehicles. The majority of these deaths were occupants of non-emergency vehicles (56%). Deaths among pedestrians accounted for another 25%, while emergency vehicle drivers represented 15% and emergency vehicle passengers accounted for about 3% of the deaths.” Crashes involving police vehicles accounted for a majority of the deaths. Police vehicles and other emergency responders pose a number of unique hazards for pedestrians.

  • Police officers often need to respond to emergencies and may need to speed or break other traffic laws.
  • Police officers can easily become distracted by their onboard computers.
  • Police officers often work late at night and during the early morning when pedestrians are less visible.

When a police officer is not responding to an emergency with their lights and sirens on, they must obey the rules of the road as would any other driver. They must exercise due care to avoid hitting pedestrians in the roadway. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21658, “A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.” If a driver deviates from a lane of traffic and hits a pedestrian, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.

The police department that an officer worked for could also be liable for a crash. Generally speaking, employers are liable for the wrongful actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course of their job duties. In that regard, a police officer will typically need to be on-duty for vicarious liability to apply. For example, a police officer may have been responding to a call or patrolling when they crashed. Victims of car accidents tend to suffer very serious injuries including:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries

The vast majority of pedestrian accidents are preventable and involve some amount of driver error. Drivers may be distracted or traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions. Even driving the speed limit could be considered reckless during adverse weather conditions. It is important that accident victims understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in a car accident with a police officer may be able to seek some measure of justice through a wrongful death claim.


Investigating Sacramento Car Accidents With Police Officers

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the families of Juan Rodriguez and Lionel Rodriguez. Any person that may have more information about the actions of Jonathon Nangle should reach out to investigators. There needs to be some accountability for what took place. The charges by Sacramento County prosecutors are an important first step towards that accountability.

Have you or someone that you care about been harmed due to the negligence of a Sacramento police detective? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of assistance after a collision, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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