Santa Clara

‘Really Tragic': Two Women Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver After Attending Mass at Santa Clara Church

Two women who were returning from a church service at Our Lady of Peace were killed Thursday when a suspected drunk driver slammed into their car in Santa Clara, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP was notified around 11:30 p.m. of a two-car collision on Great America Parkway, near the on-ramp to southbound Highway 101, Officer Ross Lee said.

Investigators have found that the suspected drunk driver — since identified as Vinod Kumar Bonthu, 26, of Sunnyvale — exited northbound Highway 101 in a red Mercedes C-230 at between 40 and 60 mph.

However, Bonthu lost control of the car and rammed into a curb, before careening across the eastbound lanes of Great America Parkway. His car then lurched across a raised center median and the road's westbound lanes where it crashed into a white Subaru Forester, the CHP said.

The two women were in the Forester's rear seats and were killed on impact, according to the CHP. The victims have been identified as Carina Bontilao Kubow, 61, and Angela Vilbar Bontilao, 92, both of San Jose, Lee said. 

Both women were remembered during a church service Friday afternoon.

"The whole service was dedicated for them," church parishioner Yuda Shayo said. "And, for people like me, that was the first time we heard about it, which was quite shocking, because they come to the service here for the last supper, and then they go and get in an accident and die. It's really tragic."

The Forester's driver — 33-year-old Jeanique Dioso of San Jose — and still unidentified front passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries, and were taken to Regional Medical Center in San Jose for treatment, Lee said. 

Bonthu was taken to Valley Medical Center with a broken leg and neck, Lee said. He was arrested for felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. 

Family members of the two deceased women were not available to comment about the crash, but Shayo hopes they will eventually consider forgiveness, which happened to be the message pushed forward during Good Friday church services.

"It may be easier to accept because it happened on a very special day," Shayo said. "That way forgiveness may be easier from them to come by."

Two other people in the Mercedes were taken to Valley Medical Center. One person's sternum is broken, but they are expected to survive, the CHP reported. Their names are still unknown.

There were two additional people in the suspect vehicle. The extent of their injuries are unclear at this point, but one did suffer a broken sternum.

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