One person was killed and two others were trapped in the wreckage of a their cars with critical injuries after a grinding crash at Rudgear Road and the South Broadway extension from Highway 680 Thursday night.
County Coroner’s deputies identified the dead man as Hector Garza, 45, of Walnut Creek. Garza’s child also suffered critical injuries in the crash.
Preliminary indications are that four cars were involved with firefighters finding one on its side upon arrival shortly after the crash was reported by neighbors at 6:30 p.m. Garza was declared deceased at the scene while firefighters worked to extricate two other critically injured patients, one of them an infant, from the wreckage. Another person was treated for minor injuries, according to ConFire spokesman Steve Hill.
Neighbors in the area, several of whom raced outside to investigate, reported hearing a grinding impact at that location – scene of past accidents, according to residents.
Investigators determined that a car driven by Jessica Martin, 35, years old, whose address was given as Tennessee, was driving south on S. Broadway when she impacted with three vehicles that were traveling north on S. Broadway. Martin suffered moderate injuries in the crash and was transported to John Muir Medical Center by ambulance, according to a police press release issued Friday afternoon. A passenger in Martin’s car suffered minor injuries and was also transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment, according to police.
The driver of the first car Martin struck suffered major injuries and was transported by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. That person’s name was not given.
The driver of the second vehicle, Hector Garza, was pronounced deceased at the scene and an infant located in his car and believed to be his newborn child was transported to the hospital with major injuries. The driver of the third vehicle suffered minor injuries and was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Officers suspected Martin was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and she was arrested at the hospital for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
Investigators are currently trying to determine where Martin was coming from prior to the collision.
Neighbors were shocked by the horrific nature of the collision.
“People use that street to bypass 680,” one, shaken by what she saw, wrote this site. “Speeding has long been a problem, I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 16 years…(tonight there were) screams that I never want to hear again.”