More details have come to light about the victim who was killed in a violent hit-and-run crash in Cupertino last week, as the suspect in the case appeared in court Friday.
Friends and neighbors said Lupash took a walk in the Rancho San Antonio preserve almost every day.
“I met him for the first time maybe 50 years ago back in Romania, he was a chess player,” said Mike Aldea, Lupash’s friend. Over the years they lost contact with each other, but they had gotten back in touch when Lupash began working in the Bay Area.
“He worked for Lockheed, for Trimble, for Boeing. He is a specialist in GPS,” said Aldea.
Santa Clara County investigators said he was killed Tuesday by 50-year-old Mireya Orta who is facing murder charges with a special enhancement for using her car as a deadly weapon. According to witnesses, Orta hit Lupash as he was walking in the preserve, then backed up and ran him down again. Prosecutors said they still don’t know what motivated Orta to do that.
“We are not aware of any relationship between the defendant or any of the victims,” said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci. “That’s something we’re looking at. The motive of this case is an ongoing investigation.”
Lupash’s Sunnyvale neighbors said he often shared fruits and vegetables from his garden and was always walking around the neighborhood.
“His mind, his memory was absolutely extraordinary,” said Aldea. “I lost a very good friend.”
Aldea said he’s spoken with Lupash’s family in Romania and they are devastated – and they can’t believe something like this has happened in the United States.