Driver in Fatal Crash Suffered From Childhood Accident, Attorney Says

The San Bruno man who suffered a seizure that caused him to crash his car and kill two cousins last month has a history of mental illness and run-ins with the law.

Despite the fact that he apparently knowingly got behind the wheel when he suffered a seizure and caused a fatal crash in San Bruno, there is a reason behind Rodney Corsiglia's history of bad decisions, according to those close to him.

Corsiglia, 49, of San Bruno suffered a brain injury when he was a kid that has given him problems all his life that he has never been able to overcome, said Chuck Smith, an attorney who has represented him over the years.

Now, Corsiglia and other charges after killing two cousins in a crash at El Camino Real and Sneath Lane in July.

"Going out driving and causing the crash was a horrible tragedy," Smith said. "His family is reaching out to the deceased's family and trying to make this horrible human tragedy better.

"But the notion that he should be branded a murderer and locked up for the rest of his life is simply wrong."

According to Smith, Corsiglia has a number of siblings who have all enjoyed successful lives and careers.

But when he was younger, he had an accident on a swing that left him with a brain injury and mentally retarded.

In Corsiglia's late 20s, Smith said, he had to have surgery to take out a brain tumor. But a reaction during the surgery caused Corsiglia to suffer from seizures for the rest of his life.

He worked as a janitor for a while, Smith said. But with his mental illness, he knew he couldn't achieve in life what his brothers and sisters had done.

Smith said Corsiglia's long rap sheet is a result of his seizure disorder, but prosecutors don't agree.

Corsiglia has had multiple run-ins with the law, dating as far back as the late 1980s.

In addition to , Corsiglia has had a number of DUIs. In 2004, he was convicted of domestic violence against a live-in girlfriend, and he spent four months in jail and served probation, according to court records.

Corsiglia's problems may have allegedly stemmed from his mental disorder, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. But he put others in danger by disregarding a condition he has known about all of his life on the day when he , which left two cousins dead, Wagstaffe said.

"He's been knowing about it all of his life, and he didn't care and decided to drive anyway," Wagstaffe said. "Two wonderful fathers lost their lives because of it, and I have no sympathy for what he has done, which is why we charged him with murder."

Corsiglia, who is being held at San Mateo County Jail without bail, is now with his new attorney. He is expected back in court in September.

frank August 24, 2012 at 12:14 AM
If the "family" had any feelings for this man, they would have monitored his every move, THEY KNEW HE WAS DRIVING, how could they not?, he had a car, what did they think he used it for? My heart turns to stone when I hear this dribble about the murderer's family "reaching out" They knew this "person" was a time bomb, they just didn't care.
Hugo gomez August 24, 2012 at 02:37 AM
My brother and cousin were taken from us. It is very tragic for our families . But I urge our friends and our community to take the high road. The man will be dealt with in our country's judicial system and than will have to face the man upstairs who has our destiny in his hands. It is he who will decide his faith and ours. There were several families impacted by this. We should all just learn and work to better our lives and learn from this. So tragic
Laurel August 24, 2012 at 09:44 AM
I'm sure his family does care ~ They are not responsible for acts of a grown man. Maybe the mention is this article of the family reaching out is just that~ I mean Who do you think is paying the attorney? My deepest sympathy for both families. Hopefully Mr Corsiglia's family will reach out to the victim's family regardless if their attorney advised them not to.
Char August 27, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Well said Mr, Gomez. We should all respect what this brother has said.
Vanessa Aguayo August 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Well said Brother!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »