Children of couple killed in Menlo Park speak out

The three children of a couple hit and killed while walking in Menlo Park held a vigil and spoke to the media about their loss.
October 26, 2013 12:23:55 AM PDT
A Menlo Park family is grieving over the loss of a husband and wife killed Thursday night while walking their dog. Balbir and Kamal Singh were on Chilco St. when a car struck them from behind. The driver is under arrest for DUI.

The couple's children, as well as other family members, came to the accident site Friday afternoon and brought flowers and balloons. That is where the couple was struck by a car at around 7 p.m. The Singh's were married more than 20 years and have three kids. Their children did not learn about what happened to their parents until hours later.

"I came home from work around 11ish and they still weren't back so we started to worry," said the victim's daughter, Komal Singh.

Komal, Shalveer, and Rema say they got the devastating news about their parents from police, who showed up at their house hours after the accident.

The couple had gone out for a walk with their dog on their nightly route when they were killed by a drunk driver.

"She's never going to be forgiven, she's never going to be forgiven," daughter Rema said. "We lost our parents because of her."

Menlo Park police say the Singh's were walking in the bike path on Chilco St. when the car struck and killed them from behind.

Police say the driver, 54-year-old Marjorie Reitzell of Redwood City, hit the couple with her car, hopped over the median, and hit a car coming the other way before crashing into some trees.

She was taken to Stanford Medical Center with minor injuries and is under arrest for two counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of felony driving under the influence. According to court records she has a long history of arrests and a misdemeanor DUI conviction last year.

"When officers were speaking to her, waiting for the medics to come and tend to her, she showed objective symptoms of intoxication," said Menlo Park police Commander Dave Bertini.

"If you're going to do things at a legal age, you know she's drinking that's fine, but she has to look at the consequences of what she does and how it affects other people," said the victim's nephew, Gulzara Singh.

The couple's dog, named Teddy, was also injured and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic. He's being treated for a brain injury. The dog's owners believe he needs to remain in intensive care for a few days, then they will return him to the family.

The couple's three children are only teenagers, ages 15, 16 and 18. They say they wanted to speak to us in order to let the community know the pain they're going through, in hopes it will inspire others to avoid drinking and driving.

The family has been through a great deal in recent years. Babir had diabetes and almost died two years ago. Never did they think they would lose both their parents in such a tragic way.

"They were one of a kind," Komal said. "They were always helpful. They never said no to anybody. They were always funny, always smiling, so they obviously don't deserve this. They don't need to be gone."

As for the family members left behind, a hope that this tragic crash never really happened and their loved ones will be back with them soon.

"I hope that they are breathing," said the victim's sister-in-law Gordip Singh. "I really hope that they are not dead. Somehow God, please return them back. Because you know, two funerals I've never seen this."

The victim's brother told me a grandmother currently lives with the three teenagers and more family members are expected to stay with them as well as they grieve the loss of their parents.


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