Family says woman killed by suspected street racer was devoted mom, grandma

Local

SAN DIEGO — A 57-year-old woman was in the car with her grandchildren when a driver suspected of street racing hit them head-on this weekend, killing the grandmother.

A county medical examiner’s report says Martha Bertha Villalobos Romo of San Diego was killed in Saturday’s wrong-way crash, the latest in a series of head-on crashes in San Diego during the past week.

Police said Saturday that two drivers were racing each other at high speeds on L Street at about 6 p.m. One of the vehicles — a silver Ford Mustang — ran a red light in the wrong lane and crashed into an oncoming Nissan Altima at the intersection of L Street and Third Avenue, a Chula Vista Police Department news release said.

Villalobos Romo’s grandchildren were in the back seat of the car at the time of the crash, according to the medical examiner’s report. The children, two boys ages 7 and 10 years old, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

A witness told Onscene.TV that multiple other witnesses stopped at the crash site and pointed officers to the Mustang, saying it had been driving recklessly. The alleged driver, 22-year-old Alonso Pina, was arrested after receiving medical attention, police said, but they were on the lookout for the other street racer.

Lucy Villalobos and her sister Stephanie said their mother had just gone out to dinner with their brother’s two boys, as she liked to do with them. 

“That was her pride and joy, always being with her grandchildren and spending time with them,” Lucy said. “My youngest nephew was crying for his grandma, which I’m sure, that’s going to be really hard for them … It’s going to be a trauma to see their mom basically, go that way.”

The other vehicle was described as a 2014 or newer white Subaru WRX.

“My mom was the safest driver ever and I always remember her telling me to wait three seconds after a green light, because she knows there are people out there like that,” Stephanie said. “And that’s who took her.”

Anyone with information about the vehicle was asked to contact CVPD at 619-409-3817.

The victim’s family has established a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover funeral expenses.

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