Former Palo Alto school employee killed in Mountain View collision

Sarah Renazco was one of two drivers who died Friday on Highway 85

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office has identified two people who died in a fiery head-on collision in Mountain View on Friday, Sept. 13. One of the deceased worked at Escondido Elementary last school year.

They were identified as 27-year-old Sarah Renazco of Mountain View and 35-year-old Safa Ngo of American Canyon, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said on Sunday. Renazco was a staff member at Escondido Elementary School in Palo Alto during the 2018-19 school year.

CHP officials said Renazco was driving south in the northbound lanes of Highway 85 near Evelyn Avenue in a 2018 Ford vehicle shortly before 12:55 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13.

The early investigation found that she struck Ngo, who was heading northbound in a head-on collision, flipping the Ford on its side. Initial reports said the vehicle was smoking, and when CHP officers arrived, it was fully engulfed in flames.

Renazco did not appear to be wearing a seatbelt and was trapped inside the Ford after the collision. Ngo was wearing a seatbelt but still suffered fatal injuries.

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene, CHP officials said. Neither vehicle had passengers.

All lanes of Highway 85 were closed during the investigation and clean-up, with traffic being diverted to Evelyn Avenue.

Renazco's Facebook page indicates she most recently worked for the Army's 7th Psychological Operations Group based at Moffett Field and was a staff member at Escondido Elementary in Palo Alto during the 2018-19 school year. Her family created a GoFundMe donation page Sunday to support Renazco's wife and two children. The page had received $24,635 in donations as of Tuesday afternoon.

CHP officials say it's unclear whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Ricky Patlan Jr. at 650-369-6261.


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Kevin Forestieri writes for the Mountain View Voice, the sister publication of

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40 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2019 at 12:18 pm

"Sarah Renazco was one of two drivers who died"

Um, Sarah Renazco was the wrong-way driver who undeniably CAUSED both deaths -- not just one of two fatalities.

The article text makes that clear, but the summary line at top blurs it.

9 people like this
Posted by Missed alreqdy
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 17, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Sarah was an aid in my kid's classroom. She was beyond wonderful with the kids. The school has good aids but Sarah stood out. She was not your image of a soldier but she was a soldier. She had that strength and confidence. I am so sorry to see Sarah go this way. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, this was a horrible accident.

Just feelings of grief.

10 people like this
Posted by Gunn High School Student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 17, 2019 at 5:41 pm

I had Ms. Renazco (Daisy Renazco) as a teacher last year. She is one of the best and most caring teachers I have every known. It seems like her wife was just the same. Ms. Renazco deserves nothing less than our fullest support and love during this difficult time.

2 people like this
Posted by cafehunk
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2019 at 8:23 pm

In order to end up southbound on Northbound 85, the only way I can imagine this is to make the turn from Shoreline (right turn going north, or left turn going south) onto the combined 85/101 Exit. The fact that this intersection isn't a conventional cloverleaf could be a cause of confusion.

38 people like this
Posted by Hmm...
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 18, 2019 at 11:22 am

Why is there a link to a gofundme page for the family of the person causing the crash and absolutely no mention of the Vietnamese young woman who she killed? I'm sorry, but this article seems biased and is upsetting to me. The innocent victim and her deserves more than a passing mention. Sarah may have been a great person, but she devastated two families the day she decided to drive on the wrong side of the freeway.

6 people like this
Posted by Kc
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 18, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I think Sarah, who I knew, would feel the same way about the non-mention of the victim. But if you search for info on the victim, it’s not possible to find anything. Perhaps that’s why the reporter didn’t discuss Safa. Sarah was a very special person and I am heartbroken over what happened. It’s impossible to know what led to her driving that way on the freeway, at least for now and to all of us. Many prayers go out from my heart to Sarah’s family and Safa’s family too.

Like this comment
Posted by Educator
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2019 at 9:48 pm

[Post removed due to unverifiable assertions that are potentially defamatory. Please contact us at if you can provide information that would allow us to verify your statement.]

32 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2019 at 7:04 am

There is an obituary of Safa Ngo here: Web Link

"Safa I Ngo, age 35, of American Canyon passed away on September 13, 2019. Safa was born in Vietnam on August 30, 1984.

Safa I. Ngo graduated from the University of California Davis. Safa had a career with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency as an Agricultural Specialist.

He had a passion for traveling, music, working out, hiking, nature, trying new things, hanging out with family and friends, investing and helping others.

Safa is survived by his mother, two sisters, three brothers, one brother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews."

Rest in peace.

20 people like this
Posted by Ridiculous
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2019 at 10:20 am

Wait... so Sarah drove the wrong way. killed Safa and now there's a gofundme? Are they splitting the funds raised with the victims family?

Why I this article skewed towards Sarah? Every other report out there states that she was a wrong way driver.

I would prefer to donate to the victims gofundme. Not the perpetrators.

5 people like this
Posted by Friend
a resident of Woodside
on Oct 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Very tragic. Alcohol and driving DO NOT mix, have seen way too many lives changed for the worse because of the deadly combination. Unfortunately, Sara made a poor decision that night and took 2 lives by drinking and driving. Safa (male) was an innocent victim and will always be remembered as a smiling, easy-going, loving son, brother, uncle, friend, and co-worker. He had his whole life ahead of him and did not deserve to go out like this. RIP Safa Ngo

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