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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    San Jose: Suspect in fatal hit-and-run is identified


    A 28-year-old San Jose woman accused of fatally striking an elderly woman Sunday morning while driving under the influence of alcohol and then driving away has been identified by police as Leticia Daisy Martinez.

    Martinez was booked into Santa Clara County jail on four felony charges, including manslaughter, two counts of hit-and-run and driving under the influence, according to San Josepolice. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has not yet received the case but will ultimately decide what charges, if any, should be filed.

    Martinez is also accused of driving without a license.

    The victim, identified by family members as 79-year-old Diana Pundsack, was doing yard work at her home near Calero and Snell avenues when a Chevy Suburban jumped the curb and plowed across the front yard. The vehicle slammed into Pundsack and the house, crushing the front corner of the structure and a wall of the front room. The impact sent plaster across the room and a hallway, into the kitchen, said Joyce Young, who lives there with her mother and other family members.

    Police say Martinez was fleeing the scene of a minor collision and being followed by a Honda sedan when she lost control of her vehicle and barreled into Pundsack’s yard onRoading Drive. Pundsack and her grandson, 26-year-old Jason Young, had been doing yard work in front of the house, according to Joyce Young.

    The chain of events began when the Suburban struck a Honda

    sedan near Blossom Hill Road and Entrada Cedros, just off Highway 85, about 9:30 a.m.

    The damage was minor, but police say Martinez left the scene. Police say the 26-year-old man who was driving the Honda followed the fleeing SUV.

    With the Honda close behind, Martinez turned south on Snell Avenue and then attempted to make a sudden left turn onto Roading Drive, police say. The Suburban jumped the curb and a low stone wall in front of Pundsack’s corner house, then plowed across the front yard.

    Pundsack had lived in the home since 1989, according to Young, who said her mother retired after working for many years as a lunchroom and campus aide in the Alum Rock School District.

    Several neighbors said they heard or saw the collision. Some came to Pundsack’s aid and some tried to follow the fleeing Suburban, which made several turns before it struck a parked car on Bridle Way. Police say the owner of that car, another Honda, had been washing and polishing his vehicle and had fortunately stepped away just seconds before the Suburban slammed into it.

    Martinez and her passengers then abandoned their SUV. Police said they may have tried to flee on foot, but officers arrived and stopped them. Some neighbors said that bystanders arrived first, after following the Suburban from Pundsack’s house, and helped block the driver and passengers.

    Three passengers who were inside the Suburban were questioned by police and released, according to officer Jose Garcia, a police spokesman.

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