Crime - Sacto 911

State youth correctional officer booked on manslaughter charge in crash


A youth correctional officer for the state has been arrested on numerous charges, including felony vehicular manslaughter following a fatal crash last month on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove.

Rajnel Nath, 39, of Elk Grove was arrested Tuesday in connection with the death of Jeffrey Fields, 63, of Elk Grove. Nath has worked as a youth correctional officer since 2000. Nath, who is employed at the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton, is currently on paid administrative leave.

An Elk Grove police spokesman said that at about 5:15 p.m. July 8, a sport-utility vehicle that witnesses said was traveling at high speed rear-ended a Toyota Prius that had slowed in stop-and-go traffic during rush hour.

The collision near Laguna Crest Way killed Fields, the Prius driver, and caused a chain reaction involving five other vehicles, three of which were significantly damaged, police said.

Nath, the driver of the SUV, and two other people were taken to hospitals.

A lengthy investigation by the Elk Grove Police Department was sent to the District Attorney’s Office, which resulted in a warrant for Nath’s arrest.

Nath was booked into Sacramento County jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run and driving under the influence.

The hit-and-run crash stems from a crash in the parking lot of the restaurant nearby on Laguna Boulevard that preceded the fatal collision.

“We developed information that Mr. Nath had been previously involved in a hit-and-run collision in the parking lot of the Chicago Fire pizza restaurant,” said Officer Christopher Trim, Elk Grove police spokesman.

Trim said witnesses told officers that Nath had been inside the restaurant before the crashes.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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