Los Gatos Octogenarian Involved in Alleged DUI Fatal Accident

Police arrested Dick Chappell on charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony DUI after they allege he fatally struck a San Jose man riding his Segway in Morgan Hill.

Los Gatos resident Dick Chappell, 83, was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail Sunday evening after authorities say he fatally struck a San Jose man riding his Segway at a downtown Morgan Hill crosswalk.

Killed in the accident was Marschelle Syverson, 72, of San Jose.

According to Morgan Hill police Sgt. Troy Hoefling, the accident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Butterfield Boulevard and Jarvis Drive. Chappell, driving a 1991 Lexus SUV, apparently ran the red light and struck Syverson while he was in the crosswalk riding the Segway, he said.

Syverson, who was transported to San Jose Regional Medical Center, later succumbed to his injuries, Hoefling said.

Chappell was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and was arrested and booked on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony DUI, Hoefling said. Authorities said they don't know yet what he was doing in Morgan Hill and where he had supposedly been drinking.

According to the officers on scene, Chappell was cooperative, "somewhat in shock as to the nature of what just happened," Hoefling added.

It's not known at this time what Chappell's blood alcohol level was at the time of the accident and the investigation is ongoing. Results from a blood test will be available in the coming days, Hoefling said.

Morgan Hill police issued a press release after the accident and reminded the public not to drink and drive. "DUI collisions are avoidable and are devastating to families and friends. With your continued support we can continue to reduce the number of DUI drivers on our roads," the release said.

It also encouraged motorists and pedestrians to report DUI drivers by calling 911.

The Mercury News reported Syverson was an IBM employee who owned several Mac computers, Apple iProducts and rode his motorized Segway almost every day.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who may have any information regarding the accident to contact Morgan Hill police traffic officer Demetrick Caballero at 408-779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at 408-947-STOP (7867).


Sheila Sanchez (Editor) October 26, 2011 at 01:27 AM
The question here is where in MH was Chappell drinking and why did he get behind the wheel of his car? Sgt. Hoefling couldn't tell me.
Gwen Reandeau October 26, 2011 at 02:51 AM
With alcohol so easly available, it's a miracle we don't have more fatalities of this nature. People go through stages in their lives, and sometimes resort to drinking more than they should, and without realizing it, turn into a menacing motorist, and the consequences of erratic driving is irreversible. Perhaps there should be a new law that prohibits alcohol sales to people over 60?
Steve October 26, 2011 at 03:50 AM
83 and drunk behind the wheel? what ever happened to older is wiser?


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