Driver arrested in fatal I-680 crash also has DUI case pending from June incident

Investigation ongoing for San Ramon freeway crash that killed toddler Friday

A Pleasanton woman accused of being intoxicated while causing the Interstate 680 crash that killed a 3-year-old boy in San Ramon last week was arrested roughly three months earlier in her hometown after police alleged she drove while under the influence with her young daughter in the car, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

Yarenit Liliana Malihan, 39, was released on bail Saturday after being booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on Friday on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI stemming from the freeway crash earlier that evening that killed toddler Elijah Dunn.

The California Highway Patrol said the incident occurred around 6:20 p.m. Friday on northbound I-680 near Bollinger Canyon Road when Malihan's Toyota Sequoia slammed into the back of a black Toyota Camry parked in the shoulder and occupied by Dunn, his mother, his 11-year-old brother and 1-year-old sister.

Malihan was treated for minor injuries at San Ramon Regional Medical Center and then arrested by CHP officers and booked into jail following a drug recognition test, according to the CHP.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office revealed over the weekend that Malihan's husband works as a sheriff's deputy in the department but declined to release the deputy's name.

A Pleasanton police spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Malihan had been arrested in June for allegedly driving under the influence with her 10-year-old daughter in the car.

Malihan faces misdemeanor counts stemming from the June arrest, with her next court appearance set for early October, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

According to Pleasanton police Sgt. Larry Cox, Malihan was contacted by police around 7:50 p.m. June 7 on Mission Drive in Pleasanton after police dispatch received a call from a resident who claimed they had spoken to Malihan that evening and believed she was driving while under the influence.

Officers responded to Malihan's home that evening and first made contact with her there, according to Cox, who alleged that based on her appearing to be intoxicated and other investigation, officers determined she had driven with her daughter earlier in the evening while under the influence.

She was arrested, received a blood test and was booked into the Santa Rita Jail for the June 7 incident, Cox said. Prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges of DUI and child endangerment against Malihan in late July.

The misdemeanor criminal case remains active, and she had her first court appearance Aug. 31, according to the Alameda County DA's Office. It was not immediately clear whether Malihan had yet entered a plea to those charges.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the fatal San Ramon crash is still pending. The Contra Costa County DA's Office said it hadn't yet filed charges in the case because prosecutors haven't received the investigative reports from the CHP as of Tuesday afternoon.

In their full press release on the fatal crash, CHP officials stated that Malihan does not have any prior DUI convictions and her driver's license was valid. The CHP statement did not mention Malihan's June arrest on DUI and child endangerment charges.

Investigators could not immediately tell how fast Malihan's SUV was traveling on I-680 when it crashed into the family's sedan, according to the CHP.

Three-year-old Dunn was airlifted from the scene to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, where he succumbed to his injuries, according to the CHP.

His mother suffered major injuries and was taken by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center. His brother and sister were driven by ambulance to Children's Hospital Oakland with minor injuries.

CHP officials said it appeared everyone in the Camry was wearing seat belts and the small children were secured in child safety seats when the crash occurred.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Dunn's family with living expenses, loss of income and the financial burdens of Dunn's death. The fundraising effort, which can be found at, had generated just under $63,000 as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.

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7 people like this
Posted by ForthePeeps
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Sep 14, 2016 at 9:28 am

ForthePeeps is a registered user.

Wait. Set free in June...? Allowed to drive because she requested a hearing??? Married to the law? Something is not right...RIP Little Man... :( So destructive and sad!!!!

6 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2016 at 10:02 am

Unfortunately it was someone else's child killed... ridiculous.

18 people like this
Posted by Katelyn
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2016 at 10:19 am

ForthePeeps- Very rarely is anyone held for a DUI, so yes, she would have been let out pending her future court dates. Also, everyone in CA is entitled to that driving hearing- google "DMV Admin Per Se hearing." Not defending her, I think what she did is unforgiveable and disgusting and I hope she gets YEARS in state prison, I just don't like that people are thinking she got special treatment because she's married to a deputy- everything that happened to her with that first arrest in June is textbook for a DUI.

5 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 14, 2016 at 10:22 am

How did she still have her license as valid? The law requires that you have a DMV hearing 30 days after the DUI arrest to determine if the license is suspended based upon BAC results. I suspect the Sheriff's Office intervened in some way to allow her to continue to drive....maybe "lost" the BAC results on her behalf. If so, shouldnt they carry some liability? So sad...could have and should have been avoided.

5 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 14, 2016 at 10:33 am

Robert is correct. Yes Katelyn you get the Admin Per Se Hearing after 30 days from the DUI arrest but if the BAC results exceed .08 its an automatic suspension in the eyes of the DMV. Someone intervened on her behalf....maybe a good lawyer but not likely. Its very tough to "lawyer" out of a license suspension when you exceed the BAC limit.

1 person likes this
Posted by John Barron
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 14, 2016 at 10:54 am

Drinking and driving DO NOT mix. For those who feel otherwise, sooner or later they'll spend time in jail.

7 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

I know of another accident not so long ago in which a young girl was killed when a DUI driver slammed into the back of her car which was pulled over to the side of the freeway. I suspect that that happens a lot with inattentive or drunk drivers just latching their attention onto the car in front of them while cruising on a freeway and not noticing that the car is stopped and not moving.

If you ever have car trouble on a freeway, then if at all possible try to make it to the next exit before pulling over and stopping, especially if the shoulder of the freeway is narrow as it was in this accident.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 14, 2016 at 11:32 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Very sad.

Parallels to the Livermore incident earlier?

5 people like this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm


As many of you in the Bay Area know there was a tragic accident last Friday night, September 9th, where a little 3 year old boy, Elijah Dunn, was killed by a drunk driver who had previous DUI in June. The mother of Elijah, Crystal Manoiki, is in the hospital with severe injuries still. The Hop Yard Restaurant in San Ramon has let me know they wanted to put together a fundraiser to help the family during this time and to please spread the word. The Hop Yard has graciously said they will donate 20% of their sales on Sunday, September 25, 2016!

Please help and come down to the Hop Yard that day and enjoy some good food, watch some football or whatever as every little bit will help this family. To go orders are also very much welcomed. Please spread the word to everyone you know and share this on Facebook over and over.

Hop Yard in San Ramon
470 Market Place
San Ramon, CA 94583

If you cannot come by that day a GoFundMe page has been set up if you would like to help.

Web Link

10 people like this
Posted by Drive Sober
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2016 at 6:01 am

The aftermath of this person's actions (not accident) will sadly ripple through decades for both families involved. We must, as a society, encourage sober driving through our children. Amador Valley and Foothill high schools host a wonderful and impactful program called Every Fifteen Minutes (someone dies, on average, every 15 minutes in an alcohol related accident), to raise awareness about the consequences of drunk driving among high schooler students. The students lead the programs, which simulate, in a staged event, a drunk driving accident. Our wonderful Pleasanton first responders, police and fire department, participate fully. A helicopter is flown in to evacuate the injured. It's very emotional and realistic.
Much of the funding is through public funds and support of local agencies, but the students must raise money to fund anything beyond the basics. Please support the program, and help the kids spread the word about Sober Driving! If this program can prevent just one loss, it's worth our support!

Here is the link to donate to Every Fifteen Minutes:

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 27, 2016 at 11:56 pm

James, your post that 'unfortunately someone else's child died. ridiculous' is extremely offensive as though should the drunken driver's child have died, that would be okay. No child should die due to an adult's negligence including that of his or her parent.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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