REDWOOD CITY -- Three members of a Santa Clara family were killed in a horrific traffic accident Friday afternoon when their car was rear-ended at high speed by an SUV while they were trying to fix a flat tire next to the Interstate 280 median, authorities said.
According to the San Mateo County coroner's office, Manjit Kaur, 48; her son Manpreet Singh, 28; and daughter Jasdeep Kaur, 21, were killed in the crash. All were pronounced dead at the scene.
Amarjit Singh Multani, 56, survived the crash but was taken to a hospital with "moderate to major" injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, said California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel. His relationship to the others who were in the car was not immediately known, but records show they are all linked to an address on Homestead Drive in Santa Clara.
The 83-year-old man who struck the car was taken to Stanford Hospital with minor injuries, and Montiel said officials "are looking into" filing criminal charges pending the results of an investigation, which could take months.
The victims were traveling north on Interstate 280 in a tan Lexus and were just north of the Edgewood Road offramp when they apparently got a flat tire and pulled the car over next to the highway median.
While they were stopped, around 3:10 p.m., a black Volkswagen Tiguan SUV "for unknown reasons swerved into the center divide and collided with the Lexus," Montiel said.
He said at least one of the victims, Manpreet Singh, was outside the Lexus at the time of the crash and "may have been working on the tire."
Montiel said the decision on whether charges will be brought against the driver will be based on factors including the speed he was traveling and results of drug tests.
Debris and automotive fluids were spread across traffic lanes following the accident, and both vehicles were "pretty much gone," Montiel said.
Four out of the five lanes remained closed into the evening, causing significant delays in the area as well as on alternative routes as drivers sought to avoid 280.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.