Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia facing felony hit-and-run charges

Posted May 15, 2014

Nirav Tolia is the chief executive of Nextdoor, a social network platform for neighborhoods. Tolia is currently facing felony hit-and-run charges after alleged causing an accident this past August that resulted in the injuries for another driver.

The felony charges are being filed by San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Tolia is also facing a civil lawsuit from San Francisco resident Patrice Motley.

If convicted, Tolia is facing a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. The civil charges were filed on Tuesday in California Superior Court and is seeking damages for “past and future wage loss, and hospital and medical expenses” for Patrice Motley. Motley was injured when he car struck a concrete media due to the accident.

Tolia and Motley were driving side by side on California Highway 101 when Tolia started to merge into Motley’s lane in an attempt to pass a slower vehicle. Tolia noticed Motley before hitting her car and corrected to stay in his lane, but not before Motley had to swerve out of the way. Motley lost control of the car and spun 180 degrees. She also crossed two lanes into a concrete median.

Tolia and his wife did not stop or call the police to report the accident. After officers traced Tolia’s license plate to his San Francisco home, he told officers that he fled because he was “shaken” and did not call the authorities because he was in “shock.”

Here is a statement that Tolia sent to Mashable today.

“On August 4, 2013, I was driving north on Highway 101 and attempted to make a lane change. After seeing another car approaching, I returned to my lane. My car made no contact with the other vehicle and I did not believe that my actions had caused the driver of that car to lose control. I was unaware that anyone was injured and did not believe that I was obligated to report the event.

I fully cooperated with the police investigation back in August providing an honest account of events and full access to my car for inspection. I was not issued a citation at the time and did not receive any further communication from the police. Nine months later, on May 13, I was alerted to charges being filed by the District Attorney.

I am truly saddened by the other driver’s injuries and deeply troubled by the whole incident. I take these allegations extremely seriously and will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities.”

The company Nextdoor works with law enforcement organizations across the country to help promote neighborhood safety. Sometimes Nextdoor is used by authorities to gather information during criminal investigations.

Nextdoor has 34,000 neighborhoods across the country that is on the localized social network. Some of the VC firms that have backed Nextdoor include Greylock Partners, Tiger Global Management, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.