Pleasanton woman killed, another seriously injured in car crash on Hwy. 101

Monterey County accident believed caused by drunken driver

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.

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Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Feb 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

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Posted by maryann
a resident of Danbury Park
on Feb 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

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Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

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Posted by Leticia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

Given the names of the people involved, I guess it's appropriate to complain about women drivers rather than express condolences for the deceased and her family. Once again Ptown's classy posters outdo themselves.

This is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the victims. Wishing all who were injured a speedy recovery.

Like this comment
Posted by Francisco Mendoza
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Graciela Hernandez Llamas leaves behind 4 childeren under 7 years of age. Most of the people in this accident are related and were all coming form a funeral.

Very sad for the family some of which I've known for years, my prayers are with them.

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Posted by Harriet B. Hind
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

(Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

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Posted by JR
a resident of Danbury Park
on Feb 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Francisco Mendoza....thank you for your post. I am so sorry to see such tragedy happen to one family. My heart goes out to those involved. I wonder if there is any fund being set up to help them. Please someone post something if they hear. How about starting a post separate from this to discuss driving habits and leave this for prayers so the family can read this a find a tiny bit of comfort...!!!

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