San Jose man charged with killing two women in Union City drunk driving crash

OAKLAND — Alameda County prosecutors have filed manslaughter and drunk driving charges against a San Jose man who police identified as the driver who crashed and killed two women in a Thanksgiving weekend crash last year, court records show.

Robert Jacob Espinoza, 26, was charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and three drunk driving counts, all felonies, in connection with the Nov. 28 crash. The victims were identified as Laura Pereira, who was killed in the crash, and Ann Marie Carpaneto, who died from her injuries roughly two weeks later.

Police said at the time that Espinoza was driving a Tesla SUV on Interstate 880 in Union City, when he struck a Volkswagen that was parked in the shoulder near Whipple Road. The collision occurred around 3 a.m.

A probable cause statement written by a California Highway Patrol investigator says Espinoza displayed “objective signs” of being intoxicated at the scene of the crash, and was arrested. Three people in the Tesla were injured too, authorities said.

The Tesla wasn’t on autopilot when the crash occurred, according to the CHP.

Espinoza pleaded not guilty at a Sept. 22 arraignment, and is out of custody while the charges are pending, according to court records.

Police haven’t publicly revealed if they determined why the Volkswagen was parked in the shoulder.

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