Placer County’s CEO confirms rumors he was driver in crash that killed teen pedestrian

ROCKLIN, Calif. (AP) — After weeks of rumors, the chief executive officer of Placer County acknowledged Friday that he was the driver who struck and killed an 18-year-old student.

Police determined he was not at fault and refused to release his name.

In a statement Friday, Todd Leopold said he was behind the wheel of the car that killed Anthony Williams on a street in Rocklin on March 19.

“My words and emotions cannot adequately express my profound grief and sadness,” Leopold wrote. “I am heartbroken for the loss of this young man and extend my sincere condolences to Mr. Williams’ family, friends, and all of those impacted by this tragic accident.”

Williams, a senior and basketball player at Inderkum High in Sacramento, was struck while walking in the roadway at night near a shopping area, according to a Rocklin police report released on Wednesday.

The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators, police said in a news release.

“It has been determined that the driver is not at fault and no criminal charges will be requested,” the release said.

Police had not identified the driver earlier despite some calls to do so by an activist group that was working with Williams’ family. The Sacramento Bee also was denied in its attempts to obtain the accident report and to speak with Leopold about the allegations that he was involved.

Leopold said he couldn’t comment while the police investigation was under way because he “certainly did not want to be perceived, in any way, as attempting to influence the outcome.”

Leopold has held the county executive job, a non-elected post, since 2018. Placer County, with a population of about 400,000, extends from Sacramento’s northern outskirts to Lake Tahoe.

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Author: The Associated Press