An Oakland man was sentenced Tuesday to four years in state prison for causing a crash in Oakland last May that killed his 5-year-old daughter and another man who was his friend.
Clarence Brown, 23, was charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and other charges for a collision on northbound Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland just south of Fifth Avenue shortly after 5 a.m. on May 1 that killed his daughter, 5-year-old Neveah Brown, and 23-year-old Dion Christy.
Neveah and Christy, a friend of Clarence Brown’s who graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 2012, were passengers in Clarence Brown’s black BMW, according to the California Highway Patrol.
In addition to the two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, Brown was charged with two felony counts of child abuse, felony reckless driving with serious injury and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended or revoked license.
But on Jan. 18 the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office agreed to allow him to plead no contest to one count of vehicular manslaughter for Christy’s death and dismiss all the other charges against him, including the vehicular manslaughter count for his daughter’s death.
Brown’s plea agreement called for him to receive a 4-year state prison term and he was formally sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson today.
The CHP said a white box truck was disabled on the right shoulder with its hazard lights on and Brown’s BMW was speeding north when it veered off the roadway and hit the truck on the morning of May 1.
Immediately after the collision, the BMW re-entered the roadway and was struck by a Ford F-250, according to the CHP.
Christy and Neveah Brown were sitting in the back seat of the BMW and died in the collision. It appeared that Neveah was not properly restrained inside the vehicle, CHP officials said.
Clarence Brown, another child and a woman passenger in the BMW were all transported to hospitals to be treated for minor injuries, according to the CHP.
Investigators said they don’t believe that drugs or alcohol were factors in the collision.
Brown was arrested after he was released from the hospital on May 1 and charges were filed against him on May 23 after the CHP completed its investigation.
A judge agreed to release Brown from custody on May 27 so he could attend his daughter’s funeral but he failed to appear in court on May 30 as ordered so an arrest warrant was issued for him, authorities said.
Brown was then arrested in the vicinity of High Street and MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland at about 7:30 p.m. on June 5 after a short pursuit on foot, U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Joseph Palmer said.
At the time of the fatal crash, Brown was on probation for a 2016 felony conviction for possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
He also has a conviction for second-degree robbery, according to court records.