The Mountain View woman killed in a bizarre big-rig accident on Highway 101 on Tuesday was remembered by former coworkers as a loving mother and hard worker who often brought her daughters to work with her.
Indira Gagloeva, 37, had lived in the Mountain View-Palo Alto area for many years. She spent several months working as a licensed real estate agent for Cashin Company Realtors last year.
Menlo Park office manager Barbara Silverberg said she hasn’t been able to get the tragedy out of her head since she first heard about Gagloeva’s injuries.
“I remember her as a very happy person. She always had a smile on her face,” Silverberg said.
Gagloeva died just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday after being hit by flying chunks of concrete from the center divide barrier along Highway 101.
She was driving north, past the Woodside Road exit with her 12-year-old daughter in the passenger seat when 50-year-old Carlos Velasquez lost control of the big-rig truck he was driving, swerved and ended up careening into the center divide, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Parsons.
The truck landed on its right side and burst into flames, torching the cab of the truck and destroying the trailer carrying pallets of cardboard. Flying debris hit Gagloeva’s 2006 Lexus SUV and a Toyota Camry. The driver of the Camry was not injured. A tire from the truck also crashed into a window and car parked outside an office building hundreds of feet from the crash site.
Traffic was stopped in both directions as Gagloeva was airlifted to Stanford Medical Center for treatment. Her 12-year-old daughter — suffering from minor injuries — was taken by ambulance to the same hospital.
Trevis Berry, owner of the eponymous transportation company, said Tuesday that the he feels terrible for any accident his company causes and that this one was by far the worst. He did not return requests for comment on Wednesday.
Parsons said the Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash and collecting witness statements from people on the scene. Velasquez was checked for sobriety at the scene and Parsons said there is no indication that he was under the influence of any substances at the time of the accident.
“Anytime someone dies there is a chance for a vehicular manslaughter charge, but that would all be pending the current investigation,” Parsons said.
Gagloeva’s family could not be reached for comment on the accident.