Mother, 3-year-old killed in DUI crash

May 25, 2009 9:07:49 PM PDT
High speeds, an arrest for drunk driving, and 3-year-old twins not strapped into car seats. Bad decisions by adults caused a terrible car crash in Oakland Monday morning.

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One of the twin boys died from his injuries Monday evening. The other remains on full life support. The boys' mother also died.

"This was totally preventable. This crash did not have to happen," said CHP spokesperson Sgt. Trent Cross. "The driver was intoxicated so she was arrested for driving under the influence, and you had two young kids who were not in car seats."

A Honda Civic was carrying five people when it crashed early Monday on Highway 880 south of Hegenberger Road.

"The driver lost control and went across all lanes on the right and struck a concrete wall at a high rate of speed," said Sgt. Cross.

The driver, Tiffany Reynolds of Richmond, is under arrest after surviving with serious injuries. She has been hospitalized at Highland Hospital and is being treated for a broken neck. Her pregnant domestic partner, 23-year-old Sara Tierra, and Sara's 19-year-old brother David died at the scene.

Tierra's three-year-old twin boys were rushed to Children's Hospital in Oakland in critical condition.

"These children are the innocent victims of very bad decisions by adults," said Dr. James Betts of Children's Hospital.

"One child was ejected from the vehicle. Another child was pinned under the steering column," said Sgt. Cross.

Cross says Reynolds was driving drunk with a suspended license. Witnesses told them she was speeding and swerving in and out of traffic.

"The story is that Child Protective Services is not serving the children," said Tierra's aunt Pamela Woodson.

Woodson says this isn't the first time the twins have been put in danger. She says the grandmother has been trying unsuccessfully for years to convince Child Protective Services to give her custody of the boys.

"We have a file that thick trying to get these kids away, and this tragedy could have been prevented," said Woodson.

Woodson would not elaborate on what kind of danger the mother was putting her children in, except to say that it was the same kind of danger that they were exposed to Monday.

Reynolds has been charged with a DUI, vehicular manslaughter and driving with a suspended license.

Child Protective Services did not return our calls for comment. However, it is important to note that today was a holiday.

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