A 58-year-old woman was out on bail Monday, awaiting arraignment on a vehicular manslaughter charge in a horrific crash that left a teenager dead and six others injured.
Sources have identified the woman as Jennie Zhu who faces one charge of vehicle manslaughter not involving drugs or alcohol with gross negligence and associated vehicle code violation.
The violent crash occurred Friday at 6:55 a.m. at Pine and Gough streets, just moments after a patrol officer saw the woman’s silver Mercedes cross Polk St. at a high rate of speed, according to San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.
“The vehicle was going so fast, he (the officer) didn’t have time to even activate his lights before the crash took place,” said Suhr.
The woman was driving so fast in her Mercedes SUV that when it collided with a gold mini-van, the force of the impact sent the van airborne, and witnesses described crash as sounding like an explosion.
The collision killed 16-year-old Lincoln High School Kevin San, who was riding in the van with his mother and 17-year-old sister, both of whom were hospitalized in critical condition after the accident.
The Mercedes also collided with a catering truck and a parked car. The three people in the catering van were taken to the hospital, but KTVU was told their injuries were not serious.
“When she came out of the car, she fell to her knees and grabbed her head. She looked really distraught,” said witness Tanya Smith.
Police said investigators took the driver of the Mercedes to the police station to interview her.
“During the interview she began to complain of chest pains. She's been taken back to the hospital,” said Suhr.
The hospital was where the woman remained until early Saturday morning, when she was booked into jail.
KTVU asked Suhr Friday what caused her to slam her vehicle into the minivan along with a catering truck and a parked car.
“There doesn't appear to be, nor can anybody fathom any excuse for this sort of driving,” said Chief Suhr.
Suhr declined to reveal what the driver said to investigators, but said that there was no indication she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
KTVU also asked Suhr if there was any indication that the vehicle she was driving had a mechanical problem.
“The vehicles were so mangled, the examination couldn't be done. Certainly not in this quick of time,” Suhr said.
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