Balbir and Kamal Singh were killed on the spot.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: A judge has set bail at $2 million for the woman who allegedly killed an Indian American couple in California while driving drunk.
Balbir and Kamal Singh (50 and 45 years old, respectively) were walking their dog in the bike lane on Chilco Street in Menlo Park, California around 6:50 PM. As they were walking, Marjorie Ann Reitzell (54) was driving her 198 Honda Accord sedan while intoxicated. Reitzell struck the Singhs and their dog, and kept going over the center median, struck another car with four occupants (all of whom are fine, their car suffering only minor damage), before colliding with a tree.
Police arrived at the accident minutes later, where the Singhs were pronounced dead at the scene. The dog was taken to a local animal shelter for its wounds. Reitzell was extricated from her car, clearly drunk. She was arrested and has been charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of drunken driving, all of which are felonies.
Last year, Reitzell was arrested for drunk driving as well, leading to a misdemeanor charge. Her brother, Ronald Reitzell, has told reporters that his sister suffers from a form of bipolar disorder, and has had a history of alcohol abuse that she has struggled with for years. He said she has made numerous attempts to stay sober and seek psychiatric help.
Reitzell’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level at the time of the accident was at least 0.15%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%.
Balbir Singh worked AngioScore, a small company that manufactures medical supplies. His wife, Kamal, was a clerk at a local Walgreens. Locals who knew them describe the couple as being incredibly warm and friendly. The two had been married for more than 20 years.
The Singhs are survived by their three children: 18 year-old Rema, 17 year-old Komal, and 15 year-old Shalveer. The children are living with extended family in the area for the time being. Memorial services were held throughout the week.
If convicted on all counts, Reitzell will face 15 years in prison.
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