The alleged drunken driver suspected of striking and killing two people Thursday in Menlo Park as they walked their dog has a DUI conviction from 2012, according to San Mateo County court records.
Marjorie Reitzell, 54, of Redwood City was arrested Thursday night on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of felony driving under the influence, Cmdr. Bertini said.
The San Mateo County Coroner's Office identified the man and woman who were struck and killed as Balbir Singh, 50, and Kamal Singh, 45, both residents of Menlo Park.
The victims were walking their dog in the bike lane eastbound on Chilco Street, west of Constitution Drive, at around 6:50 p.m. when they were struck from behind and killed by a suspected drunken driver, Menlo Park police Cmdr. Dave Bertini said.
Police were called at 6:54 p.m. and when they arrived minutes later, found the man and woman lying in the eastbound lanes of Chilco Street. Menlo Park Fire Protection District personnel arrived and pronounced the two dead at the scene.
An injured dog was found near the couple and was turned over to the Peninsula Humane Society for treatment.
Officers found a vehicle, a 1998 four-door Honda Accord, that had crashed into a tree on the opposite side of Chilco Street from where the man and woman were found. Inside the vehicle was a woman driver, the lone occupant, who complained of pain, police said. Officers said they detected signs from the driver of alcohol intoxication. She was taken to Stanford Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.
Preliminary investigation showed the man and a woman had been walking their dog eastbound on Chilco Street, west of Constitution Avenue, in the bike lane. (There are no sidewalks in that area but there is an "unimproved dirt path" on the side of Chilco where the couple was walking, police said. There are streetlights in that area.) The Honda was driving east on Chilco Street and struck the two pedestrians from behind, police said.
The Honda then continued east, driving over the center medium, and into the westbound lane of Chilco Street, police said. The Honda then struck another vehicle that was traveling west on Chilco, causing minor damage and no injury to the four occupants, police said.
The Honda then continued east in the westbound lane of Chilco, striking a tree and coming to rest.
Officers went to the Stanford Medical Center and investigation showed the driver was under the influence of alcohol and she was arrested, Cmdr. Bertini said. When she is cleared for incarceration by Stanford Medical Center, she will be taken to the San Mateo County jail and booked, he said.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he expects to receive the case from police on Monday.
Scott Delucchi of the Peninsula Humane Society said Friday that the dog, a Chihuahua or Chihuahua mix, suffered head trauma and is listed in stable condition and is currently unable to walk. A PHS officer drove the dog to the North Peninsula Emergency Veterinary Clinic in San Mateo on Thursday night.
'He loved his family'
Mr. Singh has worked in materials handling since 2007, when he was hired at AngioScore, a maker of medical devices with headquarters and about 100 employees in Fremont.
AngioScore human resources representative Lucy Gopinath talked about Mr. Singh. "He was a really nice guy, very hard working and friendly," she said. "Ours is a small company, so we all knew each other. We're collecting funds for his kids. ... We all observed a moment of silence for him."
Asked about his life outside work, Ms. Gopinath replied: "He loved his family, that much I know."
The company learned of the tragedy this morning, Ms. Gopinath said, when a couple of employees came running with the news, which the company then confirmed from Mr. Singh's family. "We've been crying all day," she said.