Home Courts Two Men Charged In Wrong-Way Collision That Killed Lafayette Man

Two Men Charged In Wrong-Way Collision That Killed Lafayette Man

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From the Office of the District Attorney:

Martinez, California – Two men have been charged with felony offenses related to the  burglary of a tobacco store in El Cerrito, and police pursuit of a stolen truck, that  culminated in a fatal head-on collision that killed one person and injured another.

Oakland resident Patrick Owens Sheckells, 35, faces six felony charges, including the murder of (Lafayette resident) Lee David Weiner. Andre Lamar Alberty, 56, of Stockton, has been charged with second-degree burglary [PC 459] and grand theft of personal property [PC 487(a)], as well as seven prior “strike” convictions.

On March 19th around 4:30 am, while driving a stolen pickup truck the wrong way on Interstate 580 in Oakland, Sheckells struck Weiner’s vehicle head-on. The impact killed Weiner and seriously injured another driver, Jerry Brunson, whose vehicle was also involved in the crash.

The collision in Oakland preceded a burglary and high-speed police pursuit that began in El Cerrito. At around 4:20 am, the El Cerrito Police Department received a 911 call from the owner of a tobacco store – who reported his security camera captured footage of two individuals driving a truck through the front of the store and stealing large amounts of tobacco products.

Officers from El Cerrito Police responded to the call and saw a truck matching the description entering Interstate 80. They followed the truck on the freeway. However, officers terminated the pursuit due to the danger to the public. The fatal head-on collision occurred approximately five minutes later in the Bay Bridge Maze.

On April 12th, Patrick Sheckells was arraigned on charges via a video call from his hospital bed. Andre Alberty was arraigned today (Monday, April 15) in Martinez. He’s in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility and his bail is set at $140,000. A preliminary hearing for Alberty is scheduled on April 24th at 8:30 am in Department 5 in Martinez.

In addition to murder [PC 187 (a)], Sheckells faces charges of:
• Wrong way driving on a freeway causing injury or death [VC 21651(c)]
• Driving under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury [VC 23153(f)]
• Driving or taking a vehicle without consent [VC 10851(a)]
• Second-degree burglary [PC 459]
• Grand theft of personal property [PC 487(a)]


  1. Good! Maybe this will stop other crooks from fleeing a crime and driving recklessly to avoid police. This is the way it used to be. Only recently have we allowed crooks to escape without being followed by police and we see the rampage of crime that has caused.

    • “This is the way it used to be.”
      You are definitely a proponent of a throwback policy, and let’s just say that few people have followed the evolutionary path that you have, or more correctly, haven’t. Unrestrained police pursuits have resulted in a multitude of deaths and injuries to innocents and $$millions in remediations from taxpayers. This is why laws and procedures have evolved into something unlike “the way it used to be”. Your lack of understanding of this cost/benefit tradeoff is exceptional. You are an outlier.

      • @David: The victims of pursuit crashes are seen. The later victims of criminals who escaped due to abandoned pursuit are unseen, but more numerous these days. It’s the job of our elected representatives, not lawyers and courts (who can only see one side of this coin), to balance these two harms. The cost/benefit tradeoff is not necessarily in favor of the current rule of dropping a high fraction of pursuits as soon as the criminal begins driving dangerously.

        • I understand your point, but I think many of these fleeing criminals are already known to law enforcement, sadly. Maybe, the emphasis should be on rounding them up and bolstering their prosecutions with resources on the police investigative and DA side. I must confess, the cost of high-speed pursuits is often stark, as you suggested, and it’s hard to see the other side of this.

  2. A innocent man was driving to his job like he did every day, following all traffic rules and unaware of the danger that lay ahead. Two criminals fleeing a burglary, breaking traffic laws, evading police and driving the wrong way killed this innocent man. Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, make an example of them and restore faith in our communities that bad guys must pay a price for their actions.

  3. Seven prior strike convictions? Thought with three, the prison term is 25 years to life. Once again, the courts let us down. So avoidable and predictable. RIP
    Glad to see that one is charged with murder.

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