A Pleasanton woman was killed and a passenger also from Pleasanton suffered serious injuries following a crash last Wednesday night in Monterey County as they were returning from a funeral in King City.
Maria Ochoa, 53, died and Maria Guadalupe Vargas-Manzo, 37, sustained "serious injuries," according to California Highway Patrol Officer Zoltan Treiner.
Treiner said the crash on U.S. 101, occurred at about 8:45 p.m. when a southbound driver took her eyes off the road and crossed into the northbound lanes. That driver, Vivian R Ramirez 42, of Gonzales, crashed into the second vehicle, a Volkswagen, carrying Ochoa, Vargas-Mano and two others, driver Rafael Zamberano Llamas 37, and Graciela Hernandez Llamas, 39, who were pronounced dead at the scene. Their residence has not been confirmed by police.
The crash involved a total of seven cars, according to Treiner, who said Ramirez has been charged with felony gross vehicular manslaughter and suspicion of driving under the influence, also a felony.
Ramirez told police she took her eyes off the road to retrieve a cell phone from her purse; when she lost control and veered into the northbound lanes, colliding head on with the Volkswagen driven by Rafael Llamas, who was ejected.
Ramirez's car also collided head on with a third vehicle. Two other cars were involved in a minor collision when one slowed to avoid the crash and was rear-ended by a fifth car.
A sixth car, headed northbound, was hit by the engine that tore from Ramirez's car; that car went out of control, swerved to the left and hit a seventh car, which was headed southbound and wound up on its side.
Treiner said Ramirez also sustained major injuries, including possibly a broken neck.