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Driver in collision that killed parents of twins arraigned, held without bond

District attorney: Gregory Ammen and Grace Spiridon were killed instantly in Redwood City on Nov. 4

Redwood City police divert traffic away from the scene of a fatal collision on El Camino Real near Finger Avenue on Nov. 4, 2022. Photo by Leah Worthington.

The two Redwood City drivers facing second-degree murder charges for their involvement in a major vehicle collision that resulted in the death of a San Carlos couple appeared before a judge on Tuesday.

The defendants, Kyle Harrison, 23, and a 17-year-old were allegedly drag racing before 8 p.m. on Nov. 4, driving more than 80 miles per hour on El Camino Real when the minor's vehicle collided with Grace Spiridon and Gregory Ammen's car, which was turning left onto El Camino Real from Finger Avenue. Ammen and Spiridon's car was projected into the air and off the road, killing the parents instantly, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office. Their 7-year-old twin daughters were injured but survived. Two others, who were in the teen's car, were also injured.

Spiridon, a Google employee, and Ammen, an audio engineer at Dolby, grew up in Palo Alto. They met in middle school and graduated from Palo Alto High in the 1990s.

The 17-year-old was transported to Stanford Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and arrested upon his release two weeks later.

Harrison left the scene, but a photo of his license plate captured by a witness led to his arrest Monday.

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The juvenile's case will be transferred to criminal court. Harrison remains in custody without bail.

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Leah Worthington
 
Leah Worthington, a Menlo Park native, joined the Redwood City Pulse in 2021. She covers everything from education and climate to housing and city government. Previously she worked as the online editor for California magazine in Berkeley and co-hosts a podcast. Se habla espa├▒ol! Read more >>

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Driver in collision that killed parents of twins arraigned, held without bond

District attorney: Gregory Ammen and Grace Spiridon were killed instantly in Redwood City on Nov. 4

by / Redwood City Pulse

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 23, 2022, 3:22 pm
Updated: Fri, Nov 25, 2022, 9:02 am

The two Redwood City drivers facing second-degree murder charges for their involvement in a major vehicle collision that resulted in the death of a San Carlos couple appeared before a judge on Tuesday.

The defendants, Kyle Harrison, 23, and a 17-year-old were allegedly drag racing before 8 p.m. on Nov. 4, driving more than 80 miles per hour on El Camino Real when the minor's vehicle collided with Grace Spiridon and Gregory Ammen's car, which was turning left onto El Camino Real from Finger Avenue. Ammen and Spiridon's car was projected into the air and off the road, killing the parents instantly, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office. Their 7-year-old twin daughters were injured but survived. Two others, who were in the teen's car, were also injured.

Spiridon, a Google employee, and Ammen, an audio engineer at Dolby, grew up in Palo Alto. They met in middle school and graduated from Palo Alto High in the 1990s.

The 17-year-old was transported to Stanford Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and arrested upon his release two weeks later.

Harrison left the scene, but a photo of his license plate captured by a witness led to his arrest Monday.

The juvenile's case will be transferred to criminal court. Harrison remains in custody without bail.

Comments

vmshadle
Registered user
Meadow Park
on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:16 am
vmshadle, Meadow Park
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:16 am

The seventeen-year-old must be charged as an adult. Period.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:50 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:50 am

I have mixed emotions charging teenagers as adults. I wouldn't want to have to make that decision.


jhskrh
Registered user
Community Center
on Nov 25, 2022 at 11:58 am
jhskrh, Community Center
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 11:58 am

@Jennifer, I would think if your parents were killed by a reckless 17-year-old driving 80 MPH on ECR you would not have mixed emotions. This person is not 14, he will be a legal adult in a matter of months, and he needs to be tried as one. This seems a clear case of manslaughter, the deaths were caused by this person's recklessness. It was horrific, those little girls have no parents. There need to be serious consequences, not a slap on the wrist.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2022 at 1:37 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 1:37 pm

Parents, please use this story as a teachable moment with your teens. So many lives have been irreparably changed by this event--the victims and their children and friends and extended family and the drivers who will have to live with the legal and emotional fallout of these reckless choices. Speed kills.

Drivers of any age who speed reduce their response time when things happen.
Drivers who are at high speed, as this one was, make it difficult for others to judge the speed of the oncoming car. Higher speeds increase the likelihood of fatality or severe injury in a crash.

Slower speeds save lives. When a driver going over 40MPH hits a person walking, that person only has 55% chance of surviving. At 20MPH, that same person walking has a 93% chance of surviving the crash. Drivers, the choices you make about speed every time you sit behind the wheel matter. Drive within the speed limit and within what road and light conditions allow. Driving is an awesome responsibility. Take it seriously. An auto crash can change your life and the lives of others.


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 25, 2022 at 2:55 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 2:55 pm

Where are the photos of the suspects, PAO? Isn't the charge second degree murder? Serious enough charges to post a photo?

Hope there's no double standard.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2022 at 4:25 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 4:25 pm

I don't believe 17 year olds should be tried as adults for something they had no intention of doing. Yes they were irresponsible and drag racing is unforgiveable.

I would suggest instead raising the driving age to 18 minimum for permit application and no behind the wheel test for at least 6 months after application.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Nov 25, 2022 at 5:24 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 5:24 pm

I believe in charging juveniles as adults if the heinous crime was intentional. Shooting, stabbing, etc., especially if they're repeat offenders.

I don't think in this case he should be tried as an adult. Yes, death is horrific, and sadly two little girls are left without their parents. In reality, if/when the prosecution overcharges, you run the risk of alienating the jury. It happens. They're being charged with second-degree murder, not vehicular manslaughter. It's risky.


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 25, 2022 at 5:54 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 5:54 pm

Intent? Isn't that's why they're charged with second degree murder and not 1st degree murder?

Those people are still dead.

Is drag racing on public streets legal?

Intent?


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 26, 2022 at 6:19 pm
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2022 at 6:19 pm

@Bystander - Genius... don't punish the guilty party, just punish everyone under 18 instead.


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