DUI Driver Implicated in Publisher Death a No-Show in Court

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the motorist who is accused of hitting and killing news publisher Fred Zehnder while under the influence of alcohol last summer failed to appear in court on Monday, February 14.

On July 27, 2021, at approximately just after 10:00 p.m., 87-year-old Fred Zehnder, longtime news producer throughout the Bay Area, was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk in Alameda when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by 31-year-old Michael Williams. 

Paramedics responding to the crash declared Zehnder dead at the scene.

Police arrived at the scene of the crash, where Williams was retrieving items from the passenger side of his vehicle. Williams refused to cooperate with officers or take field sobriety or breathalyzer tests. Police placed Williams under arrest. An Alameda Superior Court judge set William’s bond at $110,000.

Williams remained in custody until he made bail in December of 2021. He was released from jail and was scheduled to appear in court to face DUI and other related charges. 

Because of his failure to appear, additional charges against Williams have been filed, including the felony charge of committing a crime against an elderly person in addition to the misdemeanor charges of DUI and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.08 percent.

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