San Jose police arrested two men that were allegedly involved in a street race accident that killed a young woman that was jogging on the sidewalk. The men were charged with vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving, SF Gate reports.
Monday morning, 24–year-old California State University business student Kiran Pabla went out for a jog near Yerba Buena Road and Edenwood Drive. At around noon, she was struck by a Nissan, driven by 18-year-old Gabriel Becerra Esparza of San Jose, going over 70 mph. Pabla was pinned between the vehicle and a tree; she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Mercury News.
Police officials say they believe the crash was a result of Esparza and another man of San Jose, 23-year-old Manuel Anthony Maldanado-Avalos, racing their vehicles – a Nissan and a BMW – down Yerba Buena Road and Edenwood Drive. As soon as they went down the hill, both drivers lost control of their vehicles and crashed.
“She didn’t deserve this,” said Kunal Pabla, the victim’s brother.
“She just went out for a jog, just like every other day.”
Pabla’s family have expressed their concerns about the safety of the guardrail, claiming it failed to protect Pabla as it was meant to. A new and steady guardrail has since been replaced after the crash took place.
Since the street race crash, San Jose police issued several tickets while on Yerba Buena Road after residents claim that the street race between Esparza and Avalos wasn’t the first. People are often use that street to race or speed.
The victim’s other brother, Aman Pabla, also spoke with reporters.
“I’ve had almost 150 people here over the past couple of hours to show their respect. She was a very well-known person in this community. People loved her, people loved her smile, and she was a joyful person. She didn’t deserve this at all.”
“For those two guys that did this, I hope you guys go to sleep at night knowing that you guys killed an innocent person, but we’ll still pray for your family as well.”
One of Pabla’s high school teacher, Laurie Weckesser, spoke with reporters after hearing about Pabla’s death.
“She was just such a passionate kid, and she was seriously loyal to the people that she loved; such a good person. She’s one of those kids you don’t forget.”
“I’m alternating between being absolutely devastated and being so mad it hurts. Those young men are taking a minute of fun and this happens, and they’re going to have to live with this.”
Both San Jose men, Esparza and Avalos, were arrested at the scene and are being held without bond for vehicular manslaughter and driving recklessly that caused bodily harm.
[Image via ABC7 News]