A 25-year-old mother suspected of causing a deadly double drunk-driving crash was wanted on a misdemeanor DUI warrant when she killed herself and a teenage boy as he was traveling in a Lexus with his family on Christmas morning, San Jose police confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday formally identified the 14-year-old boy who was killed in the head-on collision as Andrew Nguyen. He was riding with his parents in a silver 2004 Lexus in the eastbound direction about 12:30 a.m. Sunday at Capitol Expressway and Snell Avenue. That's when Jessica Zamora's 2012 Chevy Malibu crossed over the highway, crashing into the family's car, police said. She had been wanted on misdemeanor DUI warrant and had been at a bar just before the deadly crash, police said. Both Andrew and Zamora died. A firefighter who asked not to be named told NBC Bay Area it was unclear if either had been wearing a seatbelt.
Andrew’s parents, who have not been identified, were also taken to the hospital where they were treated for minor injuries. NBC Bay Area's efforts to reach them at their home were unsuccessful.
“Our family is devastated by the sudden death of our beloved son, grandson, nephew and friend, Andrew, from the tragic car accident on Christmas Day,” Andrew's family said in a statement to the Mercury News. “While we grieve this loss to our family, we celebrate the immense joy Andrew offered to those he came in contact with. Andrew will forever remain a source of love and inspiration in our hearts.”
Ann Nguyen, who owns Ann's Petals, told NBC Bay Area she was hoping to send flowers to the Nguyen's for the funeral. Her daughter had attended Chaboya Junior High and Evergreen Valley High with Andrew and was very "teary eyed" about his death.
A fundraising site was set up by Dzung Ngo to help Andrew's family cover funeral and medical expenses. But at some point on Thursday, the family requested that public donations be closed. A message on the site read: "A heartfelt thank you for all of the kind thoughts and generous donations that have already been contributed. The Nguyen family will find comfort in knowing the community cares and mourns their loss along with them."
Police have said that they suspected that alcohol played a role in the crash.
In earlier interviews this week, some of Zamora's relatives refused to talk about her alcohol habits when they appeared at the crash site where a memorial had been created with beer bottles, which were eventually cleaned up. Zamora has a 5-year-old daughter.
Zamora's godmother, Rochelle Ybarra, did apologize to Andrew's family, without even knowing who they were at the time.
"She made a bad choice," Ybarra said while sobbing this week. "I do want to apologize. This was a bad accident. There is nothing we can do. To the family of the little boy, we're very sorry. I feel for you guys...Anyone else who drinks and drive, please make a better choice."
Ybarra said that Zamora had been drinking at a nearby bar and alleged that the bartender had given her free drinks. The bar manager told NBC Bay Area that she only had two drinks that night and none of them were free.