Police have released the names of two Salinas women killed Wednesday outside Natividad Medical Center after a driver suspected of being under the influence of marijuana crashed into them and drove way. Cynthia Lane, 57, a patient at the center, and Linda Rascon Williams, 24, a hospital security guard, were killed when a car allegedly driven by Francisco Miranda Jr. collided with them at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, Salinas police said. Miranda, 23, who was convicted of DUI twice this year, was arrested after the collision on suspicion of murder, felony hit-and-run, felony DUI with injury and driving with a suspended license, police said.
According to officers, prior to his arrest, Miranda and his car reeked of marijuana, he admitted to using marijuana and was later found to have been under the influence of the drug. The accident occurred outside the medical center on East Laurel Drive near Constitution Boulevard, police said. Lane had just been discharged from the medical center after being admitted a few hours earlier while intoxicated, police said. She left the emergency room and started walking toward the intersection of East Laurel and Constitution when Williams noticed that Lane had left a backpack behind, police said.
Williams retrieved the backpack and went to deliver it back to Lane, who was by then trying to flag down cars on East Laurel for a ride home, police said. Lane was attempting to enter a black SUV that had stopped in the left hand turn lane facing the eastbound side of East Laurel when the driver took off and Lane fell to the ground in the road, police said. Williams, seeing Lane on the ground, ran out onto the roadway and knelt down to assist her when a white Ford Taurus, allegedly driven by Miranda, crashed into them while traveling about 45 mph in the eastbound lane, police said. The impact knocked Williams about 45 feet away and Miranda then drove over Williams again before driving away from the scene, according to police.
Both victims were taken to the medical center within minutes but died from their injuries, police said. A witness to the accident reached Miranda’s mother, who convinced her son to drive back to the accident scene, where police arrested him. Police said that in both of Miranda’s prior DUI convictions, the judge warned him that he would be charged with murder if he drove under the influence and killed someone.
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