Driver arrested at hospital for murder, DUI

June 21, 2011 1:14:39 PM PDT
A woman was arrested Monday evening on suspicion of homicide and drunken driving in connection with a Friday night crash in East Palo Alto that killed her 22-year-old passenger, police said.

Officers took Leylani Simmons, 25, of East Palo Alto, into custody at Stanford Hospital, where she had been recovering from injuries she suffered in the crash, acting police Capt. Jeff Liu said.

Simmons was taken from the hospital to San Mateo County Jail, where she was booked on charges of homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in great bodily injury or death, Liu said.

At about 10:30 p.m. on Friday, patrol officers attempted to pull over Simmons after she was seen driving recklessly near Pulgas Avenue and Camellia Drive, police said.

She allegedly refused to pull over and crashed at the intersection of Pulgas Avenue and East Bayshore Road, according to police. Simmons and her passenger, East Palo Alto resident Lorina Veamatahau, were ejected in the crash.

Veamatahau died at the scene.

In addition to homicide and DUI charges, Simmons was arrested on a warrant out of Santa Clara County for reckless driving and defrauding an innkeeper. Her license had been suspended.

Anyone who might have witnessed the crash is asked to call or text message police at (650) 409-6792 or email to

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