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Stanford Report, May 10, 2000

Two staffers, mother and daughter, die in crash; driver injured


A mother and daughter leaving Stanford after work last Thursday were killed in a two-vehicle collision in Newark. The driver of the vehicle they were carpooling in, also a Stanford employee, was seriously injured.

Sonia Z. Reyes, 53, and Mary A. Reyes, 25, both of Fremont, were pronounced dead at Washington Hospital in Fremont after the 5:25 p.m. accident. The California Highway Patrol reported that the 1988 Toyota Camry driven by Cecilia Dela Cruz, 51, of Union City, was eastbound on Highway 84 at the Newark Boulevard off ramp when it collided with the rear of a stopped San Mateo County Transit bus.

The bus occupants sustained no injuries. Dela Cruz, who suffered serious injuries, was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where she is being treated. Dela Cruz, who is known as "Cherry," is an administrative associate with Information Technology Systems and Services.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and has not determined the cause of the collision. According to reports, the vehicle driven by Dela Cruz drifted off the roadway to the right and hit the bus.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at St. Leonard's Catholic Church in Fremont. Burial services will follow at Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park in Hayward. A reception will be held at Kennedy Park, 1333 Decoto Road, Union City, near the BART station, after the burial.

Sonia Reyes was an accounting assistant in the Department of Athletics for 15 years. Mary Reyes, who was a registered nurse, began a temporary assignment four weeks ago in the foreign students program office in the Linguistics Department. Mary had worked temporarily for the department in the recent past, and during that period "we came to know what a special young woman she was," says department administrator Gina Wein. So when Wein found herself shorthanded recently, she knew who to seek out. "There was Mary -- willing and very, very capable," Wein says.

Sonia was active with the Filipino American Community at Stanford, where she served as its treasurer. Lyn Tadena, the group's auditor, remembers Sonia as a very efficient and organized volunteer, and a very valued member of the organization's "family."

Sonia's supervisor, Tessie Boado, praised Sonia's professional and dependable manner. "She was the person you could always count on," Boado said. Last Friday, about 50 of Sonia Reyes' colleagues in the Department of Athletics gathered at Arrillaga Sports Center to pray and share memories.

Boado said a campus memorial service, perhaps a Mass at Memorial Church, may be arranged in the near future.

Since last Friday, relatives and friends of the Reyes family have participated in a novena at their Fremont home.

Sonia and Mary are survived by husband and father Fernando F. Reyes of Fremont, who is a nurse at Stanford Hospital; mother and grandmother Josefa Zabala of Fremont; and son and brother Richard Reyes of San José. SR