Aug 19, 2015
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The loved ones of two young women who were killed in a crash on San Pablo Dam Road near El Sobrante on Sunday have launched online fundraisers to help pay for funeral expenses.

Marilyn Ortega, 23, of Richmond (pictured below), and Angel Armijo, 24, of San Pablo, were among three people who perished in a fiery crash about 10 p.m. in the 6300 block of San Pablo Dam Road, authorities said.

The third victim, a 26-year-old San Pablo man, has yet to be publicly named by the coroner.

The photo above is from the memorial to the victims posted on the page for Armijo, a behavior therapist who was beloved by colleagues, friends and family members alike.

ortegarip.8-19The driver, 28-year-old San Pablo resident Justin Gardner, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and DUI, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was allegedly speeding when the Camaro sideswiped another vehicle, slammed into a tree and burst into flames. All three passengers were killed, but Gardner, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car and suffered moderate injuries, CHP said.

The crash has left a community in mourning. In a fundraiser on, Ortega was described as “an amazing friend, cousin, and daughter” who was kind and thoughtful.

“She was the type of person who would make you feel good to be around with. She was also a very hard working woman, motivated, and constantly pushed herself to accomplish her goals.”

A similar feeling of deep loss was expressed in the fundraiser for Armijo, was described as “great person” and “incredible behavior therapist” with Oakland-based  Ed Support Services.

“She will be remembered in our company forever as we are setting up the Angel Armijo Scholarship Fund that will be available for future eligible employees,” Donny Franks, the company’s CEO, wrote on the account.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.