"When I hear something like we did this morning at 2:30, that's not standard operating procedure, then I start to get nervous," neighbor James McGraw told ABC7 News.
What James heard, was the driver of a silver 2013 Ford Escape crashing into the beam and panel of a garage, with her friend pinned between the SUV and a metal framed door. Police soon arrived and the quiet residential neighborhood turned into a crime scene.
"I heard just, a thump," James recalled. And it was loud enough for him and other neighbors to hear faint noises, either a scream or an argument -- police aren't saying which.
Police say early witnesses were afraid to look and see where the sounds were coming from. Instead, they opted to call police who arrived only minutes later. "It appears that the driver and the victim did know each other. Again, I don't know to what extent," Officer Albert Morales said.
Police arrested the 27-year-old unidentified driver at the scene for driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. Police also confirmed that the victim was a passenger in the car only minutes before she was hit and killed. "We're still trying to confirm the ID of both the driver and the victim at this time," Morales said.
Crime scene technicians spent most of the morning collecting evidence as neighbors looked on. "It could've been a lot worse it sounds like. It could've been a lot worse," James said.
Police say the driver is cooperating with investigators, but they're asking that anyone with additional information contact San Jose police at (408) 277-4654, or anonymously at (408) 947-7867.
Monday's vehicle-related fatality was San Jose's 34th of the year.