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Details unfold about driver in San Francisco crash that killed teen

A vigil for crash victim Kevin San on a San Francisco street.
September 30, 2013 7:34:29 PM PDT
The driver who police say was responsible for killing a 16-year-old boy on Friday in San Francisco was arrested and released on bond.

Kevin San was killed when his family's minivan was rear-ended at a stop light at Pine and Gough. Police say Jennie Y. Zhu, 58, slammed into the minivan at 80 mph while driving her Mercedes SUV. Witnesses said Zhu was traveling at a high-rate of speed for several blocks. Zhu was booked for vehicular manslaughter over the weekend and was released on $300,200 bail.

The accident has had an impact on the community. Sunday night, San's friends held a vigil for him near the scene.

"It's too bad. Did they say what, or why she was going so fast? They don't know? It's very sad. I have two boys, one's a junior and one just graduated high school. So, I mean, a parent's worst nightmare is losing, you know, I just can't even imagine," said James Sotomayor of Brisbane. "It's a horrific, it's horrific. That's, I just wanted to come by and just see. I couldn't figure out which way the car was traveling and just kind of pay my respects. It's terrible."

"He would always have a smile on his face and would always give me a laugh about something," said San's friend, Jason Bolano.

San was a student at Lincoln High School in San Francisco where he was a member of the ROTC drum corps. Grief counselors will be at the school today. A board will be set for students to sign and a memorial will be set up in a display case.

Investigators say Zhu was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but her arrest includes gross negligence, because of her extreme speed. The DMV says Zhu has a spotless driving record. She was not hurt in the crash.

For the first time, we heard from San's father on Monday evening. He spoke through his cousin, Dennis Ho, who translated a message to reporters outside Lincoln High School, where San was a junior.

Ho said, "Everyday his family wakes up and wishes it was all just a nightmare and we can still hug and see Kevin's warm smile. None of what has happened makes any sense. We cannot even comprehend why anyone would be driving 80 mph in the streets of San Francisco. We know San Francisco police and the other people of San Francisco will do their best to help seek justice for Kevin and his family."

"The vehicles essentially, because of the impact, were fused together because of the high speed, so that's going to take time to go over the vehicles to see if seatbelts were used, if they weren't, was there any mechanical malfunction? That takes time," said San Francisco Police spokesperson Albee Esparza.

San's sister remains in serious condition and his mother is in a coma.

Zhu's neighbor in the Sunset could not believe that her quiet, unassuming, good neighbor could possibly be responsible.

ABC7 News reporter Heather Ishimaru contributed to this report.


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