Driver in Upvalley Crash Found Dead at Napa Home

Napa County authorities say Norman Pierce, 69, was found lifeless in his driveway on Olive Hill Lane Tuesday, the day after he drove his car into the bike lane on Highway 29 north of St. Helena, injuring two elderly bicyclists.

The 69-year-old motorist involved in a collision that injured two elderly Sonoma women on Highway 29 north of St. Helena Monday was found dead Tuesday afternoon at his home east of Napa.

Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart said Donald Pierce's landlady called 911 after she found him in the driveway of his Olive Hill Lane residence.

Medical personnel declared Pierce dead at the scene, Stuart said. 

"There was nothing suspicious or obvious to suggest suicide," Stuart continued. 

"There is a very strong possibility it was a natural death."

Pierce had last been seen at about noon Tuesday by his sister, according to Stuart, who said an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Monday's collision occurred when Pierce's southbound Pontiac entered the bike lane where Beatrice McIntosh, 67, and Jean Behse, 72, were riding south on Highway 29, north of St. Helena, at about 12:40 p.m.

The women were taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center with moderate to major injuries. Two other women riding with them were unhurt but upset and also went to the hospital, according to Bay City News Service.

Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the crash, according to CHP.

For more on this story, please see 

  • Two Bicyclists Hurt in Collision with Car in Napa County
  • Update: Two Elderly Women Injured in Upvalley Car-Bike Crash

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Larry Cereghino October 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Thats really sad to hear about the driver of the car,I'm sure he felt really bad about the accident.Sounds like he had a heart attack in his own driverway.... May he rest in peace..............
Belle (Orchid Lady) October 10, 2012 at 07:35 PM
This is very sad. I was hoping that everyone involved would be alright. My condolences to his family and friends.
wiseone October 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Agree with both posts. Sounds like a tragedy for all involved. Hope the two bicyclists recuperate fully and my condolences to Mr. Pierce's family. Could some good come from this tragedy? Could we as a community push to have the Napa Valley Vine trail completed in honor of these (and so many other) victims? Congressman Mike Thompson: Are you listening? Supervisors? Are you listening? Council members of Vallejo and Napa's cities: Are you listening? Candidates for office? Are you in favor of the completion of this trail? If so, how would you make it happen?


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