Diane Anderson

Diane Anderson arrives at the Tuolumne County Superior Court in 2019 for two motions seeking to have her released from the custody of the Tuolumne County Jail.


Diane Anderson, a Sonora nurse sentenced to 10 months in county jail for her role in a J-59 collision where three people died, was released Monday due to jail overcrowding.

At the beginning of the month, Diane Anderson’s release date was announced as Jan. 25.

Linda Downey, Chief Probation Officer with the Tuolumne County Probation Department, said she could not comment specifically on Diane Anderson’s case.

She said, in general, release of inmates is governed by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office which runs the jail. When an inmate is released from jail, they must report to the Tuolumne County Probation Department and they will be subject to the terms and conditions set by their sentencing. 

Diane Anderson was convicted on Sept. 10 of the felonies accessory after the fact to vehicular manslaughter and failure to perform a duty after an accident, and the misdemeanors concealing or destroying evidence and obstructing a law enforcement investigation following a trial held in San Joaquin County Superior Court. She has been in jail custody since then. 

In addition to 10 month in jail, she was sentenced to 30 days of work release, 90 days of home electronic monitoring and 300 hours of community service and five years of probation by Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Kevin Seibert. Her sentencing dictates that she will serve one day of electronic monitoring and 10 hours of community service for every day of the work release she cannot complete.

Downey said during work release a released inmate will be assigned to various jobs with oversight from county employees and must work a minimum of two days per week. There are different types of electronic monitoring, she added, but generally people are restricted to going only to and from work or other approved locations and they will be monitored on GPS 24 hours a day. 

Diane Anderson’s incarceration in county jail was characterized by a protracted legal battle for her to gain access to pharmaceuticals and amenities she said she needed to treat her peripheral neuropathy and a rare condition known as burning mouth syndrome.

Diane Anderson was the passenger in an Acura MDX when her husband, Danny, crossed over the double yellow lines to pass two vehicles on northbound J-59, causing a collision between a southbound Lexus RX300 and a northbound Toyota Camry. Three people died in the collision. 

Diane Anderson’s 72-year-old husband, Danny Anderson, was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and remains incarcerated in the California Institute for Men, a state prison in Chino, after his sentencing in January 2019. 

Danny Anderson is eligible for parole in August.

Appeals filed in both cases in the California Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are pending. 


Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @g_ricapito 

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