Crime - Sacto 911

Randy Paragary confirms chef in fatal car crash worked at his restaurant

The owner of Paragary’s restaurant has confirmed that a Sacramento man arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and manslaughter over the weekend was an employee of the eating establishment.

Randy Paragary, who owns Paragary’s restaurant, said in a statement that he learned of the fatal crash involving chef Joseph Anthony Short, 34, when he read the news online on Monday.

“I am saddened by the harm he has caused, and give my sincere condolences to the victims and their families,” Paragary’s statement said. “The legal process is in place, and he will face the consequences he deserves.”

The next court date for Short is 8:30 a.m. May 10 in Sacramento Superior Court. Short’s Facebook page lists his job as chef de cuisine at Paragary’s in midtown. A chef de cuisine is the main chef supervising the kitchen.

Last week, Short’s name was listed on the restaurant’s menu posted on its website. His name was removed sometime after Sunday’s accident in which David Condell, 51, was killed along Highway 50 near Howe Avenue.

Condell had come to the aid of his wife who had run out of gas. Once he placed gas in her tank, the couple had gotten back into their vehicles and were about to leave the scene.

That is when Short is said to have slammed into the husband’s car. Short was arraigned earlier this week in connection with the death of Condell. His bail was increased to $1.5 million from $310,000, at the request of Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Clark, who noted that Short’s blood-alcohol content was 0.35, more than four times the legal limit of 0.08.

He remained in custody Thursday, according to Sacramento County jail records.

Paragary said Paragary’s restaurant opened in 1983. He noted that thousands of employees have worked at the eatery since its opening and 40 are currently employed.

“The fact that Mr. Short worked at Paragary’s has nothing to do with this tragedy,” said the restaurant owner. “He could have worked anywhere and still made this horrific mistake. It would be unfair to disparage the restaurant and its fine employees by the actions of one person.”

Deputy DA Clark told Judge Geoffrey Goodman that authorities received several calls Sunday reporting that a driver was weaving in and out of lanes on Highway 50 before Short tried to pass on the shoulder and crashed into David Condell’s car, killing Condell in a four-car accident. Condell was pronounced dead a short while later at 5:55 p.m. Sunday.

Short, who faces three counts, including vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, pleaded no contest in 2010 to a charge of DUI, according to Sacramento Superior Court records. Clark said Short’s blood alcohol content was 0.36 in that incident.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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