STOCKTON — Longtime community leader Victor Mow was arrested Wednesday evening on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence following a fatal collision with a pedestrian in west Stockton, police reported.
A police report stated Mow was driving eastbound on Country Club Boulevard near Fontana Avenue, west of Interstate 5, just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, when he struck an 82-year-old man in the roadway. The victim apparently was not in a crosswalk. When medics arrived, they pronounced the victim dead.
The victim was identified as Muhammad Ashraf Butt of Stockton, according to the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office. Further details of the collision have not been provided.
Mow, 77, a member of the Stockton Port Commission, former Stockton vice mayor and chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, remained at the scene of the accident.
Responding officers determined through their investigation that Mow was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time his vehicle struck Butt. His blood alcohol content was measured at 0.10 percent, higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent to be considered legally impaired, police reported.
Mow was booked into San Joaquin County Jail later that night and released early Thursday morning, according to police and jail records.
Mow’s biography notes that he is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served during the Vietnam War. He is a graduate of University of the Pacific and California State University, Stanislaus, having earned a master’s degree in public administration. He served for two terms on the Stockton City Council and two terms on the county Board of Supervisors. He was appointed by the board to the Port Commission in 2010.
San Joaquin County Supervisor Kathy Miller has known Mow for many years, working with him while she was director of the Downtown Stockton Alliance and Mow served on the City Council. She followed the same path as Mow, first serving on the City Council then getting elected to the Board of Supervisors after Mow termed out.
“It’s tragic for everyone involved, for the victim and his family and for Vic and his family,” Miller said.
“I’ve known him for many, many years and he’s always been a real gentleman and a real thoughtful elected official.”
Miller said it was too early to know how Mow’s arrest will impact his county appointment to the Port Commission.
Douglass Wilhoit, a former county supervisor and current chief executive officer of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, has known Mow since the early 1980s before Mow was first elected to the City Council. Wilhoit said he was saddened and shocked upon learning of the accident.
“I’m sending a lot of prayers to both the victim and his family and Victor and his family,” Wilhoit said. “Knowing Victor and his family, he is a very caring person, as is his wife. I’m sure certainly they are devastated.”