SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — The family of a jogger killed by two cars racing in San Jose on Monday says they are praying for the two drivers, who are in jail waiting for arraignment on charges of vehicular manslaughter.
A new guardrail has been installed, replacing the one destroyed in the crash. A steady stream of mourners has been coming to lay flowers to remember Kiran Pabla. But the kind of speeding along Yerba Buena Road that took her life continues as though tragedy had never happened there.
“I live on the corner, and you can hear them go by real fast all the time,” said San Jose resident Elisa Barragan.
Barragan and her neighbors say Yerba Buena Road has become a raceway.
One day ago, Kiran was killed on the sidewalk as two cars went speeding down the hill. A makeshift memorial of flowers and candles marks the spot where the 24-year-old was jogging.
A memorial of flowers and candles marks the spot where 24-year-old Kiran Pabla was killed by two drivers who were speeding down Yerba Buena Road in San Jose, Calif. on Jan. 26, 201
“She didn’t deserve this,” said the victim’s brother, Kunal Pabla. “She just went out for a jog just like every other day.”
The extended Pabla family is in shock and in mourning. Kiran worked at a staffing agency. Her family was looking forward to celebrating her 25th birthday next month.
“I’ve had almost 150 people here over the past couple of hours to show their respects,” said the victim’s brother, Aman Pabla. “She was a very well-known person in this community. People loved her, people loved her smile, she was a joyful person. She didn’t deserve this at all.”
The drivers of the Nissan and BMW that crashed and killed the young woman are 18-year-old Gabriel Esparza and 23-year-old Manuel Anthony Maldonado-Avalos, both of San Jose. The police are seeking charges of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving.
The accident rekindles memories for Charlene Lennon, whose 20-year-old daughter Aly was killed by two drivers street racing in San Jose five years ago. The two fatal accidents are eerily similar.
“There’s no reset,” she said. “You cannot bring this poor young girl back. You can’t bring my daughter back. What they did was a split-second choice and a decision on their part, and they should have to pay the full consequences.”
Yet, speeding continues along Yerba Buena Road. On Tuesday, an officer issued seven tickets in just 30 minutes for as high as 59 miles an hour. The speed limit is 40.
“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,” Aman said.