Stanford student accused of DUI in fatal Hwy 101 crash

October 5, 2013 4:28:19 PM PDT
One man was killed and two others injured after a crash on Highway 101 in South San Francisco early Saturday morning. The CHP says a drunk, wrong-way driver struck a taxi cab head-on.

The passenger killed inside the taxi is 62-year-old Pedro Soldevila of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Twisted metal is all that's left of this taxi inside a San Francisco tow yard. The cab was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver on southbound 101 in South San Francisco.

"As far as we know, the two passengers that were in the taxi were not belted in," CHP Officer Mike Ferguson said. "At least one of them was completely ejected from the vehicle, he died at the scene. There was another passenger that was in the taxi that was severely injured."

The cab driver, 31-year-old Azmach Ejersa of Emeryville, was also hospitalized with major injuries.

The CHP says 24-year-old Stanford University student Zachary Katz was drunk, driving his Infiniti the wrong way on 101 near Sierra Point Parkway when he rammed the taxi.

"It was the most intense accident I've ever seen," witness Cory Zimmerman said. "I've lived here for all my life."

Zimmerman and his friend Sten Dubin took photos of the crash scene after they were caught in the back up for several hours.

"People were coming out of their cars asking questions," Dubin said. "They didn't tell us anything, just keep back, it's going to be couple hours, just get back in your cars, and wait it out."

The taxi is owned by National and Veterans Cab of San Francisco. The president of the company tells ABC7 News he's devastated by the tragedy.

Zimmerman and Dubin themselves were actually in a cab returning from a class reunion

"It's crazy, I mean, it could've been us," Zimmerman said. "We were in the back of a taxi cab. It reinforces our decision to not to drive home since we'd had some drinks and take the safe way home in the cab."

The driver of the wrong-way crash has been charged with DUI but remains hospitalized. Officer Ferguson says he will be booked into county jail after he's medically cleared.

We know he is from New York state and is attending Stanford; so far, no comment from the university

(Bay City News contributed to this report)


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