Delgado kin offer sympathy, support

The family of an 18-year-old woman accused of causing the crash that killed two Tongan royals apologized to the Tongan community Thursday and said they pray daily to help that community recover from its losses.

“Our whole family is sorrowful … not a second goes by that we won’t think about what happened and how big of an effect it has had on all of us,” Edith Delgado’s older sister, Marivel Delgado, 19, said at a news conference that was held in San Jose.

Edith Delgado remains in prison on three charges of vehicular manslaughter associated with the deaths of Tongan Prince Tu’ipelehake, 56, Princess Kaimana, 46, and their driver, Vinisia Hefa, 36, of East Palo Alto. Delgado’s attorney, Randy Moore, said he plans to appeal a judge’s July 13 decision to uphold Delgado’s $3 million bail, an amount Moore called “unconstitutional.”

By early next week, Moore plans to launch a Web site devoted to the case, at www.mooredelgadonews.com, with updates on the case.

Police say Delgado was racing at speeds above 85 miles per hour on U.S. Highway 101 between Marsh and Willow roads when her Ford Mustang clipped the Tongans’ Ford Explorer, causing a fatal rollover. She faces up to eight years in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Aaron Fitzgerald.

“She’s not doing so well,” Delgado’s brother, Juan, said Thursday. “I don’t think she is going to get over this.”

Her siblings painted her as a warm, kind, funny person with lots of friends who was excited about her job at Bank of America because her employers were going to help her finish high school and establish a career at the bank.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20, according to Fitzgerald. CHP investigators are still hunting for the black Cadillac Escalade witnesses say was racing Delgado the night of the crash, according to Officer Ricky Franklin.

“People call in, but without a license plate number” the CHP

hasn’t had much luck tracking it down, Franklin said.

Meanwhile, many Peninsula Tongans traveled to the island nation for the funerals of Hefa and the prince and princess July 21.

The bodies of the royal couple were taken to the kingdom’s capital, Lapaha Village, where they were buried in the Langi Na Moala royal tomb. A 10-day period of mourning followed.

The royal family has said they forgive Delgado for her alleged role in the crash that killed the couple Tongans called “the people’s prince and princess.”

But they support the legal process: “Forgiveness does not close one’s eye to justice,” said Prince Tu’ipelehaka’s sister, Princess Siu’ilikutapu, after the crash.

Prince Tu’ipelehaka was in the United States to rally support for political reform in Tonga.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Newsom wants $4.2 billion to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train, but legislators aren’t sold. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters; iStock; CA High Speed Rail Authority; Shae Hammond for CalMatters)
Bullet train budget battle: Should California spend more on urban transit, not high-speed rail?

By Marissa Garcia CalMatters High-speed rail was supposed to connect California’s urban… Continue reading

Cooks work in the kitchen at The Vault Garden. (Courtesy Hardy Wilson)
Help wanted: SF restaurants are struggling to staff up

Some small businesses have to ‘sweeten the pot’ when hiring workers

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda during a March 2021 press conference. (Credit Ed Reed/EdSource)
How California plans to deter costly special education disputes

Fund is meant to help parents and schools settle differences before heading to court

Hundreds of Britney Spears fans and supporters rallied in support of ending her 13-years-long conservatorship and the removal of her father, Jamie Spears, as her conservator, at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse on July 14, 2021. (Photo by Ted Soqui, SIPA USA via AP Images)
The Britney effect: How California is grappling with conservatorship

By Jocelyn Wiener CalMatters However improbable, this has become the summer we… Continue reading

District Attorney Chesa Boudin is launching an investigation into whether Chinatown merchants have been targeted as victims of possibly illegitimate lawsuits. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)
DA launches investigation of potential fraud targeting Chinatown merchants

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it is launching an… Continue reading

Most Read