The driver who slammed his car into a tree Friday, killing a young mother and paralyzing her son, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Alameda County prosecutors charged Jose Lumbreras, 24, with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunken driving causing great bodily injury and enhancements for inflicting injuries so severe that they left the child "comatose due to brain injury and to suffer paralysis," Berkeley police officer Todd Sabins wrote in papers filed with the court.
Lumbreras had a blood-alcohol level of 0.219 percent -- more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent -- when his Cadillac crashed first into a roundabout then into a tree at California Street and Allston Way shortly after 1:10 a.m. Friday, authorities said. He was driving northbound on California at an estimated speed of 64 mph, according to the court record.
Milanca Alicia Lopez, 22, was riding in the front passenger seat. She died at the scene. Her 6-year-old son, Xavier, who was seated in the back, and Lumbreras sustained serious injuries.
Xavier was taken to the Children's Hospital Oakland where he was assessed to be in critical condition. He remains on life support with "minor brain function present," Sabins wrote.
The car was crumpled so badly that all three victims had to be extricated by police and firefighters. A neighbor who watched as the Cadillac was towed away said it appeared the top had been sliced off.
Lopez, a single mother, had been studying Chicano studies and social welfare at UC Berkeley, a university spokesperson confirmed. Friends say she had been planning to enter a master's program at UCLA.
Her family is said to be overwhelmed. A memorial Facebook page showing Lopez and her son, each sporting a cap and gown, has drawn hundreds of mourners.
"She was a great young mom and the prove is the wonderful child that you are," a former teacher wrote in a post directed at Xavier.