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Menlo couple walking dog killed by alleged drunken driver

Original post made on Oct 25, 2013

Two people walking a dog were struck from behind and killed by a suspected drunken driver in Menlo Park on Thursday night, a police commander said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:39 AM

Comments (49)

Posted by RIP, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

Rest in peace. Drunk drivers are pure evil on wheels. Other news reports say that the victims had 3 teenage children. I hope that the perp has enough money to support them at least until they graduate from college.

Posted by Concerned, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:40 am

This person should be taken off the street for a long time. There are way too many cases of people racking up 2,3 4, even 5 DUI convictions. The longer they continue to drive, inspite of the DUIs, the greater the likelihood of a repeat of the tragic hit and run accident yesterday.

Posted by Heartbroken, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

Three children now without their parents. My heart hurts for them and their senseless loss. I'm so sorry. So so sorry.

Posted by David, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

MAYBE, a convicted drunk driver should get one pass. After a second, to jail for rest of their lives. Accident or not.

Posted by Beez, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

What a tragedy, all around.

I always worry when I see pedestrians walking on the road, in the direction of traffic. People need to understand the reasoning for why it is considered far safer, and is the recommended procedure, to walk "against" traffic: it is a BIG advantage if you can see the oncoming motor vehicles (or bikes) and how they are behaving as they come toward you. It gives you a head start on any evasive action you might need to take in order to minimize the chance of being hit.

Posted by kongjie, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

kongjie is a registered user.

Beez gives good advice. The fault is the driver's but for safety's sake, walk against traffic--you can't evade what you can't see.

Posted by Granny, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:58 am

This is not to lessen the tragedy or to say that the couple were in any way at fault but if you have to walk in the street please, please be sure you are always facing oncoming traffic. It won't always protect you from a drunk driver and it doesn't necessarily work on one-way streets but it will lessen the chance you get hit.

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

When will people learn not to drive and drive? Isn't the complete and utter devastation of the lives of the people they hurt and themselves enough reason?

@PAOnline: The ad for "Lineage" doesn't exactly work well here.

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

*Drink and drive.

Posted by David, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

The great ambiguities of our society, build and expand our poulation, complain about traffic; promote and market alcohol consumption, complain about alcohol abuse; build drinking establishments with parking lots, wonder why people drink and drive; let DUI offenders off with a minor scolding(IMO).
We are a social train wreck in progress.

Posted by John, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

I'm with Beez. People walk at night in Barron Park, where there are no sidewalks, and most of them dress in dark clothes and walk on the right side of the street. Please give us sober drivers a break! Wear something white or reflective. Walk on the left side of the street where you can defend yourself from any mistake we might make. Help us help you.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

So this drunk had a previous bust for DUI. How did they come to be driving again?

Posted by Tragic, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

Willing to bet that the driver was uninsured or at least underinsured. Previous DUI and an older car are the tips.

Posted by Cyclist, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Regarding walking in the bike lane - I often pass pedestrians in the street even where sidewalks are available, often at dusk when I am driving home. I sometimes pull over and let them know that I have had trouble seeing them and that they are more vulnerable to passing cars than they may realize. There are many reasons people choose the street over sidewalks such as the grading of the surface etc. - however, it is risky. Years ago, a close friend of mine was hit from behind by a drunk driver on her bicycle as she stopped in the bike lane at a stop sign. She was told by the police that part of reason that cyclists, walker in the street and cars in the breakdown lane are at risk is that the drunk driver is aware enough to have their attention caught the person but that they end up driving toward them... awful.

Posted by Rose, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

My sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased. This is very sad situation and my heart goes out to you.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Condolences to the family on this terrible tragedy, how awful.

Somehow we have to start to understand why these things keep happening. How drunk do you have to be to be completely out of control to the point of hitting pedestrians ... and why would anyone want to get that drunk to begin with?

Maybe part of anyone with drunk driving accident or fatality should be that they either go to jail for the rest of their life or they participate in a social scientific study of their lives. Find out what is the history, medical, educational ... in any dimension we can think of to reduce these senseless catastrophes down and find out what are the most common causes, and can we apply this information to help people understand that they may be at risk of doing this in the future, or to determine if people caught in a regular DUI street sweep are in the danger zone.

How many amazing people might we be losing through this kind of senseless "accident"? Can't we do something more than we are doing today. If you take away someone's license and they cannot get to work or have a life they are certainly going to cheat and drive, and because of their problems, maybe get drunk. Should people in this situation be asked to work or live in locations set up so they do not have to drive to work. Can they work at home and still be productive citizens and have a life, just under scrutiny? Can or should they be required to make reparations?

I agree with walking against traffic ... in fact when I was a kid they used to want bicyclists to ride against traffic and that changed. What is the law on this if any?

Posted by Opinion, a resident of Southgate
on Oct 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

People drink and drive because it's too much trouble to call someone or costs money to pay a taxi, and they don't want the hassle of having to find someone to drive them to pick up their car the next day. They just hope they can make it home safely. A weird mix of refusing to impose on others, yet selfishness in the final judgement.

If they raised the punishment for DUIs (one year in prison - or heck, how about prison with the violent felons) instead of giving slaps on wrists, people would think again before DUi-ing. But then our prisons are loaded, so perhaps a $3000 fine or local jail time.

Posted by Opinon, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Oct 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Frankly, I find it frazzling as a driver when people walk against traffic. I think there is research about it making drivers more likely to hit a person who is coming at them (kind of like a target). Plus, if a person is walking against traffic, do they really think they have time to scramble from an oncoming car driving 20+ MPH?

Posted by Ed Klinenberg, a resident of Stanford
on Oct 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

There should be zero tolerance for DUI drivers!! Other countries have very severe penalties for this inexcusable behavior, and so should every state in the USA! I echo the points made above in that one should always face traffic to at least have a chance at jumping out of the way if a car or bike is heading toward you! It helps to wear a reflective vest at night or even in the day where there are deep shadows and sun. Dark colored clothes make you hard to see!! I carry a small flashlight at night and I turn it on and wave it when cars approach, even when crossing streets where there are sidewalks. The more visible you are the better your chances of not getting hit. My heart goes out to the family members and friends of the couple who died in this senseless incident (it should NOT be called an accident!).

Posted by one, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Felicity, a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm

A long time ago when I would run or ride Sand Hill Rd., I used to spend much of the run thinking about a t-shirt I wanted to design. It said simply, "Ride With" on the back and "Run Against" on the front with a graphic depicting the side of the road and the direction of cars each activity should take. I could not understand how people could not understand the danger of walking when you can't see the cars behind you, and the simple physics of riding a bike towards oncoming traffic. Perhaps someone can design this, put it up for sale, and the proceeds go to these three newly minted orphans. Breaks my heart.

Posted by Do not walk against traffic, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I agree with Opinion.

Further to what Opinion says, when I turn right at an intersection, my first instinct is to look left for oncoming cars, bikes, and pedestrians. If there is nothing approaching from my left, my next instinct is to look right and, at the same time, proceed slowly into the lane.

I don't expect to see cars approaching me from my right side (i.e., on the wrong side of the road), so when a pedestrian or, God forbid, a fast-moving cyclist is coming toward me from the wrong side of the road, it startles me! This is esepcially dangerous when exiting from parking lots with trees on the right side block ones view. A good example of this is the exit from the Eichler Club.

I think walking or riding against traffic is very dangerous.

Posted by JN, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

So SAD...
Hope the dog will get a HOME.

Posted by ABSURD, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm

They should been charged the first time then this never would have happened. Why do drunk drivers get so many chances?

Posted by Go against it, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm

What with all the hybrids and electric cars, it is best to walk AGAINST traffic, because otherwise, especially if you wear earbuds, you will not hear it. If you face traffic you will SEE it, regardless of EVs or earbuds!

Posted by concerned, a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Does anyone know who will take care of the children yet? Do they have relatives in the area who can support them? My sincere condolences to the family in this difficult time.

Posted by Opinion, a resident of Southgate
on Oct 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Such a beautiful family - what a tragedy. The grandma will take care of them: Web Link

Posted by saleha, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 26, 2013 at 1:15 am

Please please please put this woman behind bars for life. She took two lives, people that needed them. This woman needs to face the consequences. As a citizen of Palo Alto, I want this woman to never ever be able to drive or darken the doors of our neighborhoods....God bless this poor family. My sympathies are with you and my heart breaks that this piece of _____ was ever able to get behind a car...after already having a drink drive conviction!!!

Posted by ICB, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I grew up in Menlo and I know the woman that caused this, I truly pray for the family of those people. I know that God will do whats best here. Hopefully when she gets whatever to life that she is gonna receive, that someone else will learn from this. Next time you see a friend drinking or smoking, you will be that FRIEND and say something before You allow them to drive off.

Posted by Frustrated, a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2013 at 12:08 am

Once someone is executed for this type of murder, the problem may start getting more attention.

Posted by Glory, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2013 at 4:11 am

In situations like this we need to trust God. Absolutely, this is a very sad tragedy because there is loss in both families. Those left behind have lost parent{s},sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandmother etc. While the couple "RIP" the driver has to live with the reality of the accident she caused and we can only hope and pray that one day she will find peace. All of the judgments and opinions aren't going to change anything about what happened so why not try and speak on things that will be encouraging for both families.

I can understand the anger people are feeling however we need to consider that the driver and her family are remorseful and grieving the loss of the children's parents and their mother/grandmother who can be incarcerated for life. Let the one without sin cast the first stone - God will be her ultimate judge.

Posted by Midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 27, 2013 at 10:24 am


Right. The couple are dead so their problems are solved. The driver has to live with the pain all her life. that should be enough punishment. And god will judge her.

Do you realize how silly this is? you mean well but wake up! If God cared as much as you say, he would've gently pushed her steering wheel back to the road instead of hitting 2 pedestrians.

A few years of jail time and mandatory rehab after a first offence is sorely needed.

Posted by Glory, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Midtown Resident please do not misunderstand - I know the law and the driver will not escape man's law of incarceration - and during this time I believe God can meet her where she is because He is not a respector of persons or situations - He gives life, takes life & makes no mistakes

The question why is for human understanding - but we don't have the mind of Christ when it comes to tragedy's like this.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Because innocent people have died, we have a Megan's Law and I can find a pin-map of 14 registered sex offenders in Palo Alto. Where can I find a map of licensed drivers with DUI convictions? Does the PAPD have this information? Does the State of California even know? Can the newspaper get this through a Freedom of Information request? Or is it just not considered to be serious enough a risk to walk your dog near such people?

Posted by Artois, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Does anyone know what has happened to the dog that was being walked? He or she was badly injured...did the dog survive? Is help needed to pay the vet bill?

Posted by Skeptical, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Glory makes a very important point: Let the person without sin cast the first stone.

For the drinkers out there, pray that you can control yourselves enough to never cause such a tragedy.

To the non-drinkers, be thankful that in you is absent the terrible temptation to act in such a way, but be not too proud of your gift.

To the just careless, or just the bad drivers, be more careful, and pray you don't screw up one day and kill somebody.

None of us, or at least few of us, is guiltless in this regard; but we can work our behavior to make this kind of thing less and less probable.

Posted by So Sad, a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

Is there a way to donate for the future care/eduction of the couple's children?

Posted by sad on so many levels, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

truly sad for the kids. I agree with "so sad" is there something set up?

Posted by long of tooth, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

How many people think that a drunk driver is arrested the first time they drive drunk? Statistics show that a driver may drive drunk 20 or more times before any incident. I vote for zero tolerance for anyone arrested for DUI.

Posted by duzze, a resident of Southgate
on Oct 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

there is no seperate ''god'' who does anything to anything,it is spontaneous without direction.--it just happens ,just like out of nowhere you wake up in the morning without wishing to! you were ''born'' automatically. no one is in charge there is no seperate ''god'' or seperate ''created human ''or ''anything''. only infinity which has no description or ''seperate existence'' if infinity was a place ,it would have to 'exist'' in something which means infinity could not be infinity. the ''divine paradox'' you got hit by car spontaneously without direction or ''god's planning''. you woke up this morning without pre planned direction ,everything is automatic everything just ''happens''. you lift your arm spontaneously and a thought comes afterward saying ''i lifted my arm'', but the arm lifted spontaneously. this drunk accident happened like meteorites fizzle out. the ''blame game'' meets its match . no one is guilty of anything. 'then that would make you go out and commmit crimes'' you say,butnot necessarily, unless those ''crimes'' happen spontaneously. think of this from noew on---everthing that happens is ''automatic'' no one is in ''control''. you step out the door to get bagels ''automatically'' ,you are spontaneously hungry and you spontaneously go for bread.the thought ''let's go get bagels'' was ''automatic'' and the idea of going to get bagels happened on its own, try it, everything happens without any god or any human animal ''direxction''. consciousness is all we can see. everything is all consciousness. no seperate car driver that hit people. just apparent sort of ''dreamlike'' consciousness all is dream. just like at ''night'' dreams happen without god's or anyones ''direction''. what you call ''YOU'' is not seperate from all consciousness.all is dream. there is no ''YOU" or is all YOU. any though or awareness of light is YOU,no god no one ''else''. have a great spontaneously out of ''your '' ''control'' day. it cannot be any other way regardless! 911 happened spontaneously ,it happened ''automatically''. no escape from this eternally.there is no heaven to go to,only eternal infinite consciousness which never will no any god. ''god does not even know himself''you'' waking up inthe morning is all ''god' has! there is no ''other god in charge' anywhere. ''you'' are ''all he has!''.and even 'he'' doesent exist. infinity cannot ''exist'' even though thats all we can use as word''...infinity. never resolved. everthing that happens to you apparently today or any day, happened automatically without any sperate god or human entity.nothing really exist,yet even ''nothing'' is a concept! get it! freefallin' one is incontrol. not even a seperate god or seperate human. consciosness is all that can ever be ''known''. no god that exists because he would have to exist ''IN'' something which would not be able to be called ''infinity''...again,have a good spontaneous without ''YOUR'' control ''day''.see how it pans out. check the ''news'' on television or whereever, thwe spontaneous thought'' all those news stories are automatic with no entity or god human ''directing''''it'' and 'see what is percieved.

Posted by stretch, a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

There is no excuse for this woman being on the road. How did she get her license back? In Sweden, they take your car away. She hadn't worked since 2004 and still had money to drink? And have a car? (No insurance, I'm sure). Well, some jail time might give her a different perspective. I'm sorry about the kids who suddenly have no parents.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

@ musical,
How about instead of a pin map of where people live, how about we take away their licenses, give them permanent bracelets with GPS transmitters, and everyone with a smart phone has an app that make the phone sound an alarm, anytime someone with a DUI record is traveling at a high rate of speed toward them, whether walking or on the road. This will allow people to keep themselves safe, while giving the public a chance to alert authorities anytime someone who isn't supposed to be driving is on the road.

If we had such protection and took people's licenses away on the first offense, a lot fewer people would do it.

What a beautiful family. This is so senseless and sad.

Posted by Tinseltwon, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

If I ever had 48 knuckles in a trashbin i'd also have a bad case of the benz!

Posted by Stricter Rules, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Simple solution for drunk driving:

1st offense (dui):

License taken away FOREVER, make em spend the night in jail & do overwhelming amounts of community service and drill em with fines.

2nd offense:

5-10 years in prison.

No matter what.

Posted by Friend, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I am honestly appalled at those who can only see the side of the story from a drivers perspective. Do you not understand that this could have happened to anyone of you?! The couple were walking their dog, and yes maybe they were going against traffic which was unsafe, but that in no way accounts for what happened. You read about such tragic things happening but you never expect them to happen to you. Please never drink and drive, for those who put themselves above the dangers of others can change a persons life in seconds.

Also, might I add that they left three beautiful children behind. I will be starting a fundraiser for them and the tragedy they faced. Stay tuned and god bless their souls. Please donate

Posted by Glory, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm

To duzze,
It is not spontaneous or infinity it is called Free Will - although you were quite entertaining

Posted by So Sad, a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

Friend - I'm glad you will be setting up a fundraiser for the children. Please post the details on how to contribute. I feel so badly for this family, especially the 3 innocent children.

Posted by willie, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Kamala Singh used to work at local walgreens. Info from a neighborhood mailing list:

Donations can be made to:

Rema Singh FBO Singh Family Relief Fund

Act Num 5129564174
Wells Fargo

See Web Link

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