News

Services set for couple killed by alleged drunken driver

Kamal Singh worked at Mountain View Walgreens

A private funeral service for Balbir and Kamal Kaur Singh will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30, followed by a public memorial on Thursday, Oct. 31, according to Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward.

Kamal Singh worked at a Walgreens in Mountain View, where many knew her as "Kim." Local customers, describing her as friendly and very helpful, said she is missed.

Photos, flowers and mementos have appeared on the path along Chilco Street where an alleged drunken driver killed the Menlo Park couple on Oct. 24 as they walked their dog. They leave behind three teenage children.

The driver, Marjorie Ann Reitzell, 54, of Redwood City was arrested on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of felony driving under the influence, Menlo Park Police Cmdr. Dave Bertini said. Convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in November 2012, she had a valid driver's license at the time of Thursday's tragedy, according to law enforcement officials.

A preliminary screen showed that her blood alcohol on Oct. 24 was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Ms. Reitzell was booked into jail over the weekend and scheduled for arraignment on Monday. However, just before court started, she complained of chest pains and was removed for medical treatment, according to the district attorney's office. The judge continued the arraignment. She remains in custody on $2 million bail.

Fatal collision

Streetlights but no sidewalks line the side of Chilco Street where Balbir Singh, 50, and Kamal Singh, 45, were walking their Chihuahua in the bike lane eastbound on Chilco Street, west of Constitution Drive, at around 6:50 p.m. when they were hit from behind by a 1998 Honda Accord driven by Ms. Reitzell, according to police.

Investigators said the Honda kept going, over the center median and into the westbound lane. It hit another car, causing minor damage but not injuring four passengers. The Honda then collided with a tree before finally stopping.

Police arrived minutes after a 6:54 p.m. call reported seeing two bodies in the road. Menlo Park Fire Protection District personnel arrived and pronounced the couple dead at the scene.

Ms. Reitzell, alone in her car, complained of pain at the scene. Officers said they detected signs of alcohol intoxication. She was taken to Stanford Medical Center for treatment before being released to the jail.

The couple's injured dog, Teddy, was turned over to the Peninsula Humane Society, which took him to the North Peninsula Emergency Veterinary Clinic for treatment.

PHS representative Scott Delucchi told the Almanac on Monday (Oct. 28) that Teddy, who had suffered head trauma, was "doing much better," improving daily, and that he may go home in the next few days.

'He loved his family'

Mr. Singh worked in materials handling since 2007, when he was hired at AngioScore, a maker of medical devices with about 100 employees headquartered in Fremont.

Human resources representative Lucy Gopinath shared a few memories. "He was a really nice guy, very hard working and friendly," she said. "Ours is a small company, so we all knew each other. We're collecting funds for his kids. ... We all observed a moment of silence for him."

Asked about his life outside work, Ms. Gopinath replied, "He loved his family, that much I know."

The company learned of the tragedy, Ms. Gopinath said, when a couple of employees came running with the news, which the company then confirmed with the family. "We've been crying all day," she said.

Relatives are reported to be looking after the couples' children -- an 18-year-old daughter, a 17-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son.

A public memorial service on Thursday will be held at 10 a.m. at the Chapel of the Chimes funeral home located at 32992 Mission Boulevard in Hayward.

Almanac staff writer Dave Boyce contributed to this report.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

This is very sad news. I am a frequent shopper of the Walgreens on Rengstorff and knew this lady. She was very friendly and we'd chat about what our kids were up to over the years.

I hope her children are doign as well as can be expected. They lost a loving mother.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jeannette
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:11 am

How this happened is so awful. We offer our condolences to Kim's children and family. She helped my Mom and I many times at Walgreens. She was always positive, smiling and pleasant. We will miss her.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Kim and I used to hug every time we saw each other in Walgreen's. May the drunk killer get tough justice. Kim was a wonderful person! She will be missed!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Eric
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Very very sad of course. I remember the lady while shopping at Walgreen's in the past, very kind person. We need drunk check points again so people like
the one who took those two people out can be off the road. And my upstairs neighbor too !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I have been chatting with Kim for years, whenever I went to Walgreens. She was such a nice person who loved her family so much. We have lost a wonderful person. My condolences to her family.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Very nice lady indeed
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I also saw her at walgreens many many times, last time was 2 saturdays ago and she was always very nice, pleasent and helpful. Such a loss, my condolences go out to the family.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crazy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

For more info and a picture of the cuplrit see

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PH
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Kim was a friend and I too knew her from Walgreens. I told her on the day before she died that she was the only one left of the old crew and that if she left I would have to go to another store to shop. She worked at that store from its opening and was always good to me. I've lost a good friend and feel as if I'll wake up and it will all be a bad dream. I still can't believe she is gone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kal Sandhu
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm

What a tragedy. Deepest condolonces and prayers to the famil especial their 3 children who are left without their parents for the rest of their lives. Really sad. I knew Kamal at Walgreens. She was a wonderful and helpful person who alwsys had a smile was a shining example of what impeccable service should be. May they rest in peace.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Maher is a registered user.

Terrible news! I have zero tolerance for drunk drivers. One DUI and take their license and car away from them. Confiscate both the license and the vehicle. I don't care what hardships befall them... better they have consequences immediately to prevent them driving again and killing in the future.

Drunk drivers recitivism stats are terrible... they drive drunk again and again.

So sad for this lovely family whose future was warped by this careless woman.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ramesh Zamindar
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

It's sad for the 3 teenage children to lose both their parents. It will be very hard for them. A great tragedy in Menlo Park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm

This drunken woman should be sent to prison for life with the key thrown away. Imagine these three teenage children without there parents now!!! These three children are now orphans. It is great that relatives will take care of the children. But what a burden to put on the relatives.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Kim was an absolute treasure. The whole Walgreens staff at that particular location has always been very good, with many familiar faces, but Kim was especially warm. She seemed so happy working there. Not many people in life make such an impression as she did. Deepest sympathies to her children. If they take after her in the slightest, I am sure they are lovely people as well.


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