East Bay News

Alcohol suspected in San Leandro crash that left 1 dead, 2 injured

Monday, July 29, 2013

A car driving 100 miles per hour slammed head-on into another car in San Leandro, killing a woman and badly injuring her husband. The collision happened early Sunday morning on Washington Avenue and shut down part of the road for nearly eight hours.

Police tell me they do believe alcohol was a factor in the crash that killed 57-year-old Lomia Faumuina and critically injured her husband. Friends and neighbors are mourning her loss and are hoping for her husband's quick recovery.

"It just makes me feel real sad that she had to go through that," neighbor Lisa Torres said.

Torres says she'll remember her neighbor and friend smiling and always ready with a hug to give and a kind word to share.

"Her husband Ron and Mia, I knew her by Mia, they were very, very, very nice people," Torres said. "Very friendly. They would barbecue and when they'd barbecue they'd barbecue for everybody."

Faumuina was in the passenger seat as the couple drove north on Washington Avenue in San Leandro about 2:30 a.m. when another car, speeding southbound at 100 miles per hour, hit them head-on. Moments before that, a police officer saw the solo driver speed past him.

"By the time he was able to put his vehicle into drive and drive off, he'd lost sight of the vehicle," Lt. Luis Torres said. "As he pulled off onto Washington and made his turn around that blind curve, he noticed that the vehicle that he had seen had struck another vehicle head-on."

The officer pulled the man who was speeding from his car, moments before it caught fire. He is in the hospital in serious condition, along with the driver of the other car, who is in critical condition. His wife died at the scene.

Hours later, people who live near the crash came out to the scene as police continued to investigate, trying to determine if the speeding driver crossed the line into oncoming traffic. They say they do know one thing.

"We do suspect that alcohol played a factor in this collision," Lt. Torres said. "To what extent, we don't know. And it appears obvious right now that speed was definitely a huge factor in it."

Even though police are confident in that assertion, it will take weeks before the blood alcohol tests come back. If the tests say definitively that the speeding driver was drunk, he could face felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

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san leandro, crash, driving, alcohol, east bay news
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