Andree Jamerson III, of Gilroy, and Joseph Legrande, of San Jose — both 20 years old — were pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash unfolded on southbound I-680 just north of Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon around 3:30 a.m. Sunday when a Volkswagen Jetta heading south on the freeway went off the roadway to the right, swerved back to the left and hit the center median, before coming to rest sideways and blocking the left lane, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Volkswagen was then hit by a Ford Fiesta, causing major damage and starting a fire that engulfed the Volkswagen, killing Jamerson and Legrande, who were trapped inside, according to the CHP.
A third person in the Jetta suffered major injuries and the Ford driver had moderate injuries. Both were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CHP officials said.
The crash closed the freeway for more than an hour, the CHP said.
Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call the Dublin office of the CHP at 925-828-0466.
In other news
* Livermore police have located the gravel truck driver who fatally struck a bicyclist on Stanley Boulevard late last month and left the scene without stopping, according to a department spokesperson.
The driver, whose name has not been released publicly, is cooperating with the investigation into the collision that killed Livermore resident Christine Boyle on Dec. 21, according to Officer Taylor Burruss.
"This collision is still under preliminary investigation so we are unable to release further details as to the driver's identity, their statement, who is at fault, or whether criminal charges will be sought at this point," Burruss told the Weekly this week.
Boyle, 63, was riding off the sidewalk on eastbound Stanley Boulevard just after 8 a.m. Dec. 21 to cross straight at the intersection within the crosswalk, when at the same time a gravel truck with trailer was making a right turn from Stanley toward the Isabel Avenue/Highway 84 connector, police said at the time.
A witness told Boyle's family that the avid cyclist attempted to avoid a serious collision by pushing off the truck but she fell and was run over by the tires. Boyle was treated at the scene and transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where she died that afternoon.
The trucker drove away from the scene without stopping, and police previously said they were looking into whether the trucker was aware they had hit somebody.
Boyle's death on Dec. 21 marked the beginning of a difficult stretch for the Livermore community, the first of three fatal crashes that killed five people in less than 34 hours on the week of Christmas.
* Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton was appointed last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom to a position on the California Victim Compensation Board, which provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury.
Crime victims (and relatives of crime victims) who have suffered physical injury or threat of physical injury can apply to the victim compensation program for compensation for crime-related losses, including medical expenses, funeral expenses and relocation costs. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
Becton, 69, is now one of three members of the California Victim Compensation Board. The others are board Chairwoman Yolanda Richardson, secretary of the Government Operations Agency; and State Controller Betty Yee.
Becton served as a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge from 1995 until 2017, and has been Contra Costa district attorney since 2017. She is a member of several professional associations, including Fair and Just Prosecution and the State Bar of California Council on Access and Fairness.
* Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announced Monday that her office will not file any charges against former BART Police Officer Anthony Pirone for the killing of Oscar Grant III in 2009 after reopening its investigation into the case in October.
The shooting of Grant by former Officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009 eventually led to the conviction of Mehserle on an involuntary manslaughter charge.
Grant's family had called for a murder charge against Pirone, who was kneeling on Grant prior to the shooting by Mehserle, who said he had meant to reach for his Taser stun gun instead of his firearm.
Pirone used a racial epithet multiple times while pinning Grant on the ground, but has said he was only repeating what Grant said to him.
The DA's office, in a report released Monday on the decision not to charge Pirone, said "while Pirone's overly aggressive conduct contributed to the chaotic nature of what transpired on the BART platform," he cannot be charged with aiding and abetting in the killing since "there was no evidence that Pirone knew in advance that Mehserle was going to shoot Mr. Grant."
A group of elected officials and civil rights activists lambasted O'Malley on Tuesday for her decision not to seek charges against Pirone.
BART Board directors Lateefah Simon and Bevan Dufty and Oakland City Councilman Loren Taylor called on the DA to file felony murder charges against the former officer.
"I want to be clear that Nancy O'Malley has failed, yet again, to do her job," Simon said at a Tuesday morning news conference. "And that job was to ensure equal justice under the law."
A 2009 report by former Oakland City Attorney Jayne Williams and then-attorney Kimberly Colwell of the law firm Meyers Nave that was released publicly a decade later argued "Officer Pirone's overly aggressive and unreasonable actions and conduct in violation of policy and acceptable standards contributed substantially to the escalation of the hostile and volatile atmosphere during the course of the incident."
A spokesperson for O'Malley said her office did not have any additional response to Tuesday's news conference beyond its statement Monday.
Taylor said he and fellow council members Carroll Fife, Treva Reid and Nikki Fortunato Bas planned to introduce a resolution at this week's City Council meeting imploring O'Malley to charge Pirone for his role in the shooting.
"We will never reimagine public safety if bad actors are never held to account for their crimes," Taylor said.
The Rev. Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, argued that O'Malley's job is not to be impartial toward issues like police brutality that disproportionately affect people of color.
"You have an obligation and a duty to do what is right," Johnson said in reference to O'Malley. "And because you are failing to do what is right, Oscar's blood is on your hands, Nancy O'Malley."
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