Police on Saturday identified the suspected drunk driver who is accused of killing a 3-year-old child when she slammed into a sedan on Interstate 680 in San Ramon the previous night.
The driver, Yarenit Liliana Malihan, was arrested Friday night after rear-ending a "disabled" black 2007 Toyota Camry — carrying three children and their mother — at an "unlicensed speed," according to the California Highway Patrol.
Malihan's husband is an Alameda County sheriff's deputy, sheriff's officials confirmed Sunday. But they declined to identify him by name. There is a deputy named Clifford Malihan, and documents show the pair listed as "household members."
At the time of the accident, the 39-year-old Pleasanton woman was driving a white 2008 Toyota Sequoia on northbound I-680 near Bollinger Canyon Road, the CHP said.
The crash at 6:20 p.m. injured three children and prompted the CHP to issue a Sig-alert, blocking all north and southbound lanes of the freeway. All lanes were reported open around 8:50 p.m., the CHP said.
An 11-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl were taken to a hospital by ambulance, while their 3-year-old brother, who was later identified as Elijah Dunn and was described as being unresponsive at the scene, was airlifted to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. The CHP said Saturday that the 3-year-old child did not survive his injuries.
The loss has taken the family by shock, but the family's grandfather, Chuck Manoiki, is doing his best to comfort everyone affected.
"I'm trying to be strong," he said. "I'm the rock for the family. It's hard, very hard. It's going to be a hard road. We all know that."
Dunn, who was described as being a sweet child, would have had his next birthday in two weeks, according to Manoiki.
"Always had a smile on his face," Manoiki said. "Even if he got in trouble, he'd cry a little bit, but two seconds later he's smiling. He'd bring a smile to everybody's face no matter what."
The children's mother also sustained major injuries and was transported by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center, the CHP said.
Manoiki said that the mother is expected to be released from the hospital in two or three days. In the meantime, she is healing from a broken bone in her back, six broken ribs and and fluid buildup around her lungs.
The 12-year-old boy sustained bruising and minor cuts while the 1-year-old girl came out unscathed, Manoiki said.
Malihan sustained minor injuries that were treated at San Ramon Valley Hospital. She was then taken into custody at the Martinez Detention Facility on suspicion of driving while under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter, the CHP said. She was released on bail Saturday, according to jail officials.
Malihan does not have any prior DUI convictions and was driving with a valid driver's license at the time of the crash, the CHP said.
Manoiki expressed that he is angered by the driver's actions and he wants the appropriate justice to be served so that an accident of this magnitude does not plague any other families in the future.
"Driving under the influence is wrong," he said. "Too many innocent lives are being taken away."
A Go Fund Me page is expected to be created and circulated Monday in support of the family, Manoiki said.