.Woman Killed, Teen Injured When Driver Strikes Pedestrians in Seabright

UPDATED Tuesday, June 16, at 2:45pm, with more details

One pedestrian died and another was seriously injured Monday when a man driving a vehicle struck the pair as they walked on Murray Street.

Santa Cruz Police Sgt. Wes Morey said the driver of a white Honda Accord was traveling north on Murray Street around 2:10pm when, for unknown reasons, he lost control at Mott Avenue and struck the women, who witnesses said were a mother and her high school-aged daughter. Another witness said the pair lived nearby.

Santa Cruz Police Department spokesperson Joyce Blaschke said a 44-year-old woman died in the crash and a 15-year-old girl suffered serious injuries.

Both victims were taken to Dominican Hospital where the 44-year-old later died. The teen was in serious but stable condition, Blaschke said. The victims’ identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

secure document shredding

The driver, Mark Mendoza Zembrano, 18, of Santa Cruz—who cooperated with police—was arrested at the scene. He was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, two counts of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, two counts of criminal felony enhancement, and two counts of multiple victim enhancement, Blaschke said. Police found a marijuana bong in the car.

“I heard the crash and ran out there,” said a neighbor who asked to only go by his first name, Pat. “I was a lifeguard, so I did CPR on her for like 10 minutes. It didn’t look too good.”

Pat, who said he’s lived in the area for about four years, said he felt a lot more could be done to help regulate traffic in the area, like flashing pedestrian signs, better striping and speed bumps.

“This area needs better markings, for starters,” he said.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the SCPD Traffic Investigations Unit at 831-420-5857.


  1. Tarmo, glad to see your photos and reporting in print here….you’ve stayed with it since I first met you in the Photojournalism class I taught at Cabrillo, long ago. Good work, keep it up. Dean Quarnstrom


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.
music in the park san jose
Good Times E-edition Good Times E-edition