While San Jose police have figured out who a Mercedes involved in a deadly double hit-and-run this week, investigators still haven't found the driver, who ran away from the site on foot.
The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office identified the victims in Monday's early morning hit-and-run as Carmen Zavala, 63, and Cristina De Leon Castro, 62, both of San Jose. The two friends, on their way to work at Mineta San Jose International Airport as food workers in a Toyota Taris, were broadsided by a silver 2004 Mercedes-Benz.
The crash happened at about 3:15 a.m. after California Highway Patrol officers spotted the Mercedes speeding on northbound U.S. Highway 101 and followed the vehicle for a traffic stop, CHP spokesman Chris Falkowski said.
The officers followed the Mercedes as it exited on the First Street off-ramp and activated their emergency lights, but the Mercedes turned left on Brokaw Road and then sped up on North First Street, running a red light, Falkowski said.
The CHP officers stopped pursuing the Mercedes and deactivated their emergency lights for safety reasons at Matrix Boulevard.
Moments later, the Mercedes smashed into the Toyota, and the impact was strong enough to kill the women even though the car's air bags deployed, police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said.
The Toyota was so badly damaged that police at first could not verify its make and model, Randol said.
The two women were employed by HSMHost Corporation. Spokeswoman Sarah Cody said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Cristina De Leon Castro and Carmen Maria Zavala. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this extremely difficult time. Cristina and Carmen will be truly missed by their HMSHost family."
Bay City News contributed to this report.