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April 12, 2021

Reckless Driving Charge for Man Involved in Fatality

Travis Dalla avoids manslaughter charges although accident
claimed Nicholas Schindler’s life
n By Marilyn Dubil

Morgan Hill – The man who was allegedly racing Nicholas Schindler when his Mustang flipped, killing him, was arrested by Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies. Travis Dalla, 19, of Morgan Hill was arrested Monday on suspicion of reckless driving. 

Schindler’s father said that maybe now the facts about the incident that lead to the death of his son will come out.

“It’s important and right that Mr. Dalla answer for his involvement in our son’s accident and subsequent death,” Carl Schindler wrote in an e-mail. “It takes two to tango, and Mr. Dalla was one of the two major players.”

Dalla was driving an SUV northbound on Butterfield Boulevard June 11 at speeds in excess of 70 mph, racing alongside Schindler, according to police reports.

Schindler, 20, died two weeks later from injuries suffered in the accident. He remained in a coma following the accident, after surgery to relieve swelling in his brain. 

Witnesses told police that about 11am that day, Schindler and someone driving the SUV were racing northbound on Butterfield Boulevard. As they passed the San Pedro intersection, the driver of the SUV pulled in front of Schindler’s Mustang, cutting him off and causing him to swerve to the left. As the Mustang hit the center median, it flipped into the air, smashing through an irrigation pipe and five elm trees before coming to rest leaning against another elm. The driver of the SUV did not stop, but fled the scene.

Dalla was located through a description of his Chevy Tahoe. Witnesses told police the other driver was in a Chevy Tahoe or a Ford Expedition, and a description of the vehicle was circulated.

Sampson said an informant told MHPD detectives they heard through “a friend of a friend” that another friend had been racing with Schindler and didn’t know what to do and was trying to sell the vehicle.

The Tahoe was in San Martin, with a “for sale” sign on it, and the sign had a phone number, Sampson said. Detectives contacted Dalla’s roommate and told him they needed to talk to the driver of the car.

They obtained a cell phone number from the roommate, Sampson said, and MHPD traffic officer Steve Pennington called Dalla.

During his interview with detectives, Sampson said, Dalla did not admit to racing with Schindler, but did say he was driving faster than the speed limit and that at one point, he was passed by Schindler. 

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