Town Square

Montecito crash 'made everybody's life terrible'

Original post made on Oct 16, 2007

The early Sunday crash in Montecito that killed Kelly Marie Ruiz, 26, of Mountain View, and Sara Elizabeth Pezzimenti, 21, of Palo Alto, "made everybody's life terrible" and "sounds like a murder," Ruiz' mother said Thursday.

Related stories:

  • Two women in SoCal crash are identified

  • Palo Alto woman killed in Montecito crash; driver faces charges

    Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2007, 10:31 AM
  • Comments

    Posted by Lindsay Joye, a resident of Ventura
    on Oct 16, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    My heart goes out to both families. May the love of family and friends provide some comfort during these dark days.

    Posted by Jen Bliss, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Sara was one of the nicest people at Palo Alto High School. She always made me smile, said nice things to cheer me up, and always was there for her friends and fellow classmates in high school. Receiving the news from a friend this morning about this tragic event and loss was horrible. I still cannot believe it. Last time I saw Sara, I had a great time and we all laughed about life and the things we were doing or wanted to do. Best wishes to her family through these tough times. We will all miss you Sara!

    Posted by Lee-C, a resident of East Palo Alto
    on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    I know what it feels like to lose a loved one in a horrific car accident. Words can't express how much your families are going through right now. I only hope you cherish the time you've had with the girls and that those memories keep their spirits alive. May GOD be with you in your time of grief. Lots of Bahai LOVE......Lee-C

    Posted by Maria, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Please lets just get back to sympathy for these grieving families and friends. Something like this affects everyone who knew these wonderful girls. I hope anyone realizes that drunk driving can cause a sadness that will last as long as anyone who knew the victims is alive.

    Posted by alumna, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by Paula Pezzimenti, a resident of Old Palo Alto
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    My family and I are devistated by our loss. My niece was a beautiful, vivacious young woman with so much to live for. Our lives will never be the same.

    Sara, you will always be in my heart and on my mind.

    I love you Honey,
    Aunt Paula

    Posted by Mary Peltzer/Suzanne Zucker, a resident of Crescent Park
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Dear Robin, Frank and Michael,

    Mary and I remember how much your loving presence at preschool brought such warmth and caring to all, and we are so anguished to lose Sara. We saw all of the beautiful qualities in Sara when she was just 3 years old. We remember Sara intent on whatever she was doing, whether it be playing, drawing, or singing with great enthusiasm and dignity. Our hearts go out to you, and can only imagine the depth of your grief. We wish you strength and comfort during this horrible time, and will keep you in our thoughts. Love, Suzanne and Mary

    Posted by Luis, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Sara was such a great person. I knew her ever since elementry school. From all the time that I knew her, she was always filled with smiles,laughs, and carring personality. All she ever wanted to do is make people laugh and be happy. She was great person and she will be missed. My love and prayers go out to her and her family.

    Posted by Luis Arroyo, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Sara was such a great person. I knew her ever since elementry school. From all the time that I knew her, she was always filled with smiles,laughs, and carring personality. All she ever wanted to do is make people laugh and be happy. She was great person and she will be missed. My love and prayers go out to her and her family.

    Posted by Cindy Staehnke, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Sara's presence brought everyone smiles, she was such a sweetheart, she will forever be remembered!!! she touched all of our lives, each one of us will carry on a little piece of her smile everyday, my love, heart and prayers are with the Pezzimenti family and close friends.

    Posted by Richard Weiner, Malibu, a resident of another community
    on Oct 17, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    I had the distinct honor to co-author a book with Sara's late grandfather, Tony Razzano, the NFL superscout who helped create the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl dynasty. And I can tell you this: Sara's passing at such a young age is a true American tragedy, one that will trigger tears for years to come. Sara's own family was exactly what you'd expect from the Razzanos: Two big-hearted, loving and caring parents. Two free-spirited/wicked smart siblings, so close they may as well have been twins. Each family member clearly related in every move. Sara, as these other testimonials also prove, was always the most full of life, from the moment she entered any room. Just like her Aunt 'Liddy.' Always able to get that special smile from her grandfather. And the rest of us lucky enough to be looking on. Fortunately, this family is surrounded by a love many of the rest of us can only dream about. Unfortunately, just as the wounds from Tony's passing were beginning to heal, these new horrifying ones have been created. All around our hearts.

    Posted by Jenny Fausel, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 7:51 am


    You will be forever missed by so many of us. I will always remeber you with a smile on your face.

    Much Love,

    Jenny Fausel

    Posted by Gaetano, a resident of another community
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Dear Sara, you don't know me but I'm your Italian cousin Gaetano. I know well your grandfather Frank, aunt Rae, your aunt Lauren, uncle Joe. I meet them when I come in America 4 years ago. And I "meet" you only today. But I'll bring you forever in my heart.all in my family are sad today because you are a part of our family that we have lost. But you will survive in our heart and in the heart of all the people that loves you. I want now to try to keep contact with all my cousin in America and can write and talk with them, starting with your parents and all. I want that all the family will keep in touch, and I'll do that in your memory. I'm so sad because me and you never meet but I think you will be happy seeing all your big family(we are very much in the world!) close.
    I'm sorry for my not very well english.
    I love you Sara
    Gaetano, Adele(my mum),Pasquale(my father), Francesco(my brother)

    Posted by Cricket, a resident of another community
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 9:37 am

    My heart goes out to the entire Pezzimenti Family and friends....

    I knew Sara through the YMCA Youth & Government program. She IS an amazing person, so kind, full of life and saw nothing but the best in everyone. Her bright smile and wonderful hugs always brightened my day. She always had a joke to tell, and everyone adored her. She will be missed by all!
    Your family are all in my thoughts.

    Posted by Gina Henley, a resident of another community
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Kelly lived life to its fullest and it is so unfair that she was taken at such a young age. Her son will be without a Mother, a Mother and Father will be without a daughter. Our family has been shattered by the loss of such a viberant life force. This verse reminds me of what she would want:

    "When I get where I'm going,
    There'll be only happy tears,
    I will shed the sins and struggles
    I have carried all these years.
    And I'll leave my heart wide open
    I will love and have no fear,
    Yeah when I get where I'm going,
    Don't cry for me down here"

    Aunt Gina

    Posted by Theresa Carey, a resident of Crescent Park
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about the accident that claimed Sara's life. I had the joy of being her softball coach when she was 11 years old, and remember enjoying having her on the team so much. She was delightful -- a hard worker, and a good team player -- and had a great way of joking around with her teammates and bringing them up.

    My heart goes out to Sara's family, and to Kelly's as well though I did not know her. What a heartbreak.

    Posted by theo, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    my heart goes out to all parties involved int his terrible accident-

    just wanted to add this- shame on the pa weekly editor(s) who posted this
    thread with such an inflammatory title- this is totally not needed- and simply
    reveals how low you are willing to go to get folks to participate. Don't you realize
    that the people in this community have a tradition of decency and taking the high
    ground- and that we don't appreciate being jerked around? Show some maturity.
    Don't follow ther herd. Show a little class. Have a little respect!

    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I disagree with theos post.

    This mother is a victim, as is her grandson who has lost his mother at 9 years of age.
    Anita Henley has good reasons to be angry and she has the right to express this to this community.

    The CHP says a crime was committed and that the survivor will be charged with 3 felonies.

    We should not be blind to the fact this horrible tragedy was caused by DUI that very nearly took the lives of 5 others.

    Posted by Citizen, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    This story is way over the top - couldn't the PA Weekly let this mother mourn in private rather than printing sensational headlines from someone in a difficult emotional state? What kind of headline is "sounds like a murder" - really was that necessary? Is this a supermarket tabloid?

    Theo - good post. my thoughts exactly.

    Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Mountain View
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    This situation is a tragedy, but the driver cannot be held completely liable for what happened to these 2 girls. He is definitely at fault for driving drunk and speeding, but they are also at fault for choosing to get into the car with him, and allowing him to drive at all, and especially doing that without putting on seat belts. Our country needs to learn how to take responsibility for their own actions and not always blame everything on others. This was not a person who they didnt know crashing into them, it was a close friend they were with. None of them acted maliciously in this, but all of them share some of the blame.

    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    In many jurisdictions, such as in California, if the unintentional conduct amounts to such gross negligence as to amount to a willful or depraved indifference to human life, the mens rea may be considered to constitute malice. In such a case, the charged offense may be murder, often characterized as second degree murder.

    Therefore,as the facts come out the charge may indeed be murder.

    Victims have a right to have their anger heard as well as their grief.
    paloaltonline is giving voice to the victim in this case and this deserves our praise.

    Posted by Colleen, a resident of another community
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I absolutely agree with Jennifer... As tragic as this whole situation is, we are all responsible for our own choices. There was no "murder" here... Beau Robertson is a kind, decent, caring human being, not even capable of hating anyone regardless of whats been done. My condolences to the families of Sara and Kelly and my thoughts and prayers are with ALL 3 families.... :(

    Posted by Howard, a resident of Crescent Park
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Drunk drivers should be subject to strong, but not disproportionate, penalties. Our society has drifted to into a hysterical state where "murder" and other extreme penalties are being levied against mistakes in judgment and tragic accidents.

    Posted by Jackie Hoppa, a resident of Old Palo Alto
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Kelly, I love you and I miss you.

    Posted by Jillian Schaefer, a resident of Downtown North
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    If I have learned anything through tragedy, it is that there is no other community quite like Palo Alto. The love and support from anyone and everyone kept my family afloat during our lowest time. I am sure that the same will be done for the Pezzimenti's. I am just so sorry.

    Posted by MVmember, a resident of Mountain View
    on Oct 18, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Santa Barbara County has a very low tolerance for young drunk drivers who commit vehicular manslaughter. Last January, a recent UCSB grad, Jessica Binkerd, was sentenced to 5 years, 4 months in state prison after killing her passenger in a drunk driving accident in July 2006.

    Posted by joe, a resident of College Terrace
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 7:06 am

    I am sorry for the families, but what were those girls thinking getting into a car with a drunk driver. If they had been wearing seat belts they might well be alive today. Esp. coming for a law enforcement family, this is baffling behavior.

    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 9:12 am

    this is how they deal with felony drunk driving homicide in Santa Barbara County. Web Link

    Posted by Nick, Simon, Carolyn & Max, a resident of Barron Park
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 9:30 am

    We are anguished beyond words at this tragic loss. Since we didn't personally know Sara and Kelly, we feel especially for our friend, Michael; our neighbor, Beau; and for the families so deeply and lastingly affected by this heartwrenching mistake.

    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 10:07 am

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by MVmember, a resident of Mountain View
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Jessica Binkerd's sentence was so strict in part because the DA (Kimberly Smith) found photos on Jessica's MySpace page taken after the accident which showed her in bars surrounded by alcohol and the photos became a key factor during her trial. In any case, at her sentencing the judge stated that he wanted to send a stern message that driving while intoxicated will not be tolerated. Here is a quote from the UCSB newspaper regarding her sentencing:

    Judge Lodge was concerned about the magnitude and gravity of the crime, Smith said, and he wanted it noted that such actions would not be tolerated.

    "The defendant is taken off the street and incarcerated, which will protect society because she will not be able to participate in that type of behavior again," Smith said. "I think the message is clear: If you drink and you drive, the punishment is severe and there will be consequences."

    Posted by Awful Accident, a resident of Esther Clark Park
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 11:48 am

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by Hate Ignorance, a resident of Barron Park
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by Joan and Kevin Hicks, a resident of another community
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    We are sorry for your loss. We have children and love them dearly, so we can imagine what you are going through. Sara seemed to be a loving, kind person with a big heart. We did not know her personally, but we do know her Uncle Joe and his wife. They are in our sunday school class, and very darling people. And so our hearts go out to them, and the rest of the family and friends. We pray that God will grant you all peace. Love in Christ, Joan and Kevin

    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Anita Henley is correct in using the term murder in a DUI homicide case and this

    is fully supported by the Governor of California and the laws of

    California see Web Link

    Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Interesting how staff is removing comments, but publish the inflammatory quotes by the mother of one of the deceased. Hey, the driver was drunk, but the adults got in the car with him. Alcohol tests should be performed on all of them. They are responsible for being willing to drive with someone under the influence. At least no one else on the street or in another vehicle were not injured or killed.

    Posted by Sad, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Oct 19, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of the lives of two beautiful young women.

    I am equally sorry that some people choose to use this forum to make political statements. I have seen some of the vituperative postings people have written. The cruelty that some people feel free to use from a safe anonymity. You people have no idea what the staff removed, so why make an issue of it?

    Bottom line, two lovely young women with their whole lives ahead of them, are now gone. Grieve for them, their families, their friends.

    Posted by Carl, a resident of another community
    on Oct 20, 2007 at 11:29 am

    For those of you who want to pacify the rest of us by expressing your sympathy to Beau Robertson by discounting this event as a terrible "accident", consider this: if he was showing off his new gun, and spasmodically pulled the trigger, "accidentally" killing his bystander friends, who were not wearing their bullet-proof vests at the particular moment, what would be your argument then? Don't skew opinion by blaming the passengers for getting in the car without putting on a seat belt, which would not have likely saved them in the first place. He should not have gotten in the captains chair, and it being his car, should not have allowed anyone any of them to ride with him. He is responsible.

    Posted by yr, a resident of Charleston Gardens
    on Oct 20, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

    Posted by sue, a resident of Stanford
    on Oct 20, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    In California the penalty for DUI Homicide is now 15YRS to LIFE IN STATE PRISON.

    Santa Barbara County has ZERO TOLERANCE in these cases.

    What a waste of 3 young lives.

    Be afraid, Be very afraid!

    Posted by SARA HONEY, a resident of Palo Alto High School
    on Oct 21, 2007 at 2:44 am


    Posted by Penny & Family, San Diego, a resident of another community
    on Oct 21, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Dear Frank, Robin and Michael, Pezzimenti's & Razzano's, We are so sadened by the news of your enormous loss. Loosing a child goes against nature, loosing her in such a tragedy goes against all we learn. We pray that God keeps you all close, fills your hearts with his grace and peace knowing that your sweet baby girl is with him in a place that we can only strive to enter as our time comes to end. We're so sorry Sara that you were taken so soon from all those that love you so much. We're thankful to God for his great power to help your family through their lives without you. We pray all this is our Savior Jesus name, amen. Our deepest sympathies to you all! Love you always, Penny, Mark & family. Our hearts and doors are always open for you here in San Diego.

    Posted by Disgusted, a resident of another community
    on Oct 21, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Comparing this horrific accident, with shooting someone is apples and oranges. Who are you to speculate that he was "showing off"? Were you there????? No one but them knew exactly what happened that tragic morning. For all we know, the brakes could have gone out or someone could have grabbed the wheel, WHO KNOWS!!! How awful of a human being to naively speculate and judge one of your own. What goes around comes around. Shame on you.

    Posted by April Henley, a resident of another community
    on Oct 22, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Dear all, I am Kelly's cousin, and I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support. To those who feel like using this comment board as their soap box - please stop. It's not going to change what happened. I understand the fervor regarding such a volatile subject as this. But it was a senseless accident, and what the world needs more of is tolerance, understanding, love, and the knowledge that we are on this earth for but a moment. Please just take care of each other.

    I miss you Kelly. Enjoy the stars.


    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Oct 25, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Amen- may they rest in peace

    Posted by Jeanne, a resident of Palo Verde
    on Oct 25, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    April, may your family be comforted at this time.

    Posted by saddened, a resident of another community
    on Oct 29, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    my prayers go out to the girls families, especially a little boy who will grow out without his mother. there is a reason for everything and although right now it may not seem clear, i hope you all find your peace in the future. i understand the anger you have over the whole situation but hopefully that anger can be put aside as you reflect on the memories you hold with each one of these girls.
    my prayers also go out to beau whom i know personally. although he may live and breath today, his life will never be the same. he is not the type to take a gun out (as mentioned in another posting) and show it off. much less, the guy who drove around showing off his car (which he loved too) knowing that it was not safe for him or anyone else. for beau and his family, i pray that you are able to get through this time and know that there are others around you that are very supportive of a good guy who was involved in a terrible accident. may god bless you all.

    Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
    on Oct 30, 2007 at 10:50 am

    April, Sorry for your loss, but I must get on my soapbox since you have posted in a public forum what I believe is a wrong approach. We may change the future if we have:
    less tolerance and more intolerance toward DUI and reckless driving,
    more self-responsibility,
    less unconditional love and more justice, and
    the recognition that all we have is the time we have on this earth.

    Posted by Sad, a resident of Ventura
    on Oct 30, 2007 at 11:05 am

    If someone was "showing off' their gun to me, I would ask if it was loaded and the saftey was off, before I allowed it to point in my direction. If I was out drinking with friends, I would ask if the person driving me home was drunk before getting into the car with them. No one is saying the driver is not responsible, we just need to understand that all of these people made choices that led to this tragedy. This was a tragic mistake, and the families of all three of them will be forever effected by it. I feel sorry for the losses they will all deal with.

    Posted by anne, a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 1, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Sad and others

    The state of California will take the view that Beau Robertson and he alone is responsible for this double DUI homicide.

    In the Jessica Binkerd case in Santa Barbara, cited previously, her passenger, who was killed, was also drunk and had 2 recent DUIs.

    This did not make any difference in the sentencing.
    She got 5yrs in State Prison.The victims parents had asked for probation.

    The new law provides a penalty of 15yrs to life for DUI Homicide.

    Posted by Jared Ramos, a resident of another community
    on Nov 6, 2007 at 10:49 am

    [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
    I'm not condoning what my friend has done,but know he is for the most part responsible.Everyone in the crash is to blame,would you get in the car with a drunk driver?let alone not wear a seatbelt?I'm sad for all families that have to deal with this accident.Beau is a great person and friend and I hope they look at all the facts and not bone head comments made by people like Carl when he goes to court.Hold Ya Head Beau,100...

    Posted by Kayla, a resident of another community
    on Nov 8, 2007 at 11:01 am

    To Kelly,
    I love you and miss you. I still can't belive you're gone but I know that you're looking down on us. You've made everyone so proud for everything you've done and I'm so happy that you're my cousin. Life will never be the same without you.
    I love you.


    Posted by A friend, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
    on Nov 19, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    I have know Beau close to 10 years. He is a good guy that made a stupid mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. He is going to pay for this for the rest of his life. I feel terribly bad for him and the girls.

    Posted by missy, a resident of Barron Park
    on Jun 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

    My dearest Kell,
    I know that it has been several months since you have been gone, but I can't quite grasp the fact that you are not here. They say it gets easier as the days go by, but does it? Because as the days go by, I feel like I miss you even more and it simply does not get easier. You have to know how much your death has impacted sooo many people who loved you so dearly. I don't understand why God took you when you were only 26 years old, but heaven has got to be even a better place with you there. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. If I could have predicted the accident I would have hung onto you and never let you walk out of the door of your house on that fateful weekend. You truly were like my little sister and I have so many memories to reflect back on, even though it's not the same as if you were here. But... thank you for those memories because I really had some of the best times with you. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I love you so very much and I miss you so very much too! You will always be a part of me Kell! Love, Miss

    Posted by disturbed, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Jun 17, 2008 at 8:26 am

    How can one of the most responsible people in all of palo alto do this?? He had everything going for him. On his birthday, why was he driving? And yes, it was his problem that the girls weren't buckled up, and if they were than I would not be writing this. It does not make any sense. What I do understand is the reaction from relatives of the girls. Yet the friends are all guilty, cause everyone that has been talking bad about Beau has driven drunk, most still do. He even paid for a cab for you. For the people that knew him and turned your back on him at the worst time, shame on you. You say he has no remorse? Do you have any idea what it means to cause someone's death unintentionally? He has to live with himself, and that is a lifetime sentence. No matter how much time he gets, the truth will come out!

    Posted by K., a resident of another community
    on Jan 1, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Kelly was a beautiful child, that grew up into a wonderful woman. Heaven has gained an angel, however this world has suffered a great loss. My heart goes out to her parents, and all of those who knew and loved her.