SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Two women killed early Monday in a hit-and-run collision near Mineta San Jose International Airport have been identified.
The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office identified the victims as Carmen Zavala, 63, and Cristina De Leon Castro, 62, both of San Jose.
Zavala and Castro died when the driver of a silver 2004 Mercedes-Benz smashed into their 2012 Toyota Yaris early Monday morning, according to San Jose police.
The crash happened around 3:15 a.m. after California Highway Patrol officers spotted the Mercedes speeding on northbound U.S. Highway 101 and followed the vehicle for a traffic stop, CHP spokesman Chris Falkowski said.
The officers followed the Mercedes as it exited on the First Street offramp and activated their emergency lights, he said.
The Mercedes turned left on Brokaw Road and pulled over to the right shoulder appearing to yield to officers but instead accelerated southbound on North First Street, running a red light, Falkowski said.
The CHP officers stopped pursuing the Mercedes and deactivated their emergency lights for safety reasons at Matrix Boulevard. They noticed hazard lights on Skyport Drive and North First Street and found the damaged Toyota Yaris, he said.
The Mercedes had broadsided the Toyota, and the impact was strong enough to kill the women even though the car’s air bags deployed, police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said.
The Toyota was so badly damaged that police at first could not verify its make and model, Randol said.
Police have obtained registration information from the Mercedes but are still trying to locate the driver, Randol said Tuesday
That driver could be charged with felony hit-and-run for leaving the accident scene, Randol said.
Zavala and Castro were employees at San Jose International Airport eateries managed under HSMHost Corporation.
HSMHost spokeswoman Sarah Cody said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Cristina De Leon Castro and Carmen Maria Zavala. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this extremely difficult time. Cristina and Carmen will be truly missed by their HMSHost family.”
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