Ashley Nicole Krieger, 23, of San Jose, died from injuries suffered when her vehicle was struck by a vehicle that is reported to have been in an illegal street race.
According to police reports, Ms. Kreiger was leaving her job at the AMF Moonlite Lanes Bowling Center in Santa Clara on March 20, when a Mercedes being driven by Vincent Christopher Mergonoto, 19, of San Jose struck her vehicle causing severe brain and bodily injuries.
Mergonoto and Chandra Purnama, 25, of San Francisco have acknowledge to police that they were driving around double the posted speed limit of 35 on Keily Boulevard going to 99 Chicken.
On Wednesday, the original charges of one felony count each of a speed contest were amended by Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Connie Smith to include vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. The manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of up to six years in prison. The two men are scheduled to appear in court on April 7.
Mergonoto, admitted to officers he was driving about “65 or 70 mph.” But he insisted to police, according to reports, that he wasn’t racing, and that Purnama was “just trying to keep up” with him.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, police reports indicate that Purnama, driving a rented yellow Corvette, was behind Mergonoto’s Mercedes.
Purnama witnessed the crash, and when he saw the two mangled cars ahead of him, he told police he “freaked out,” because he “did not want to get in trouble” and took off. Police reports indicate he ended up returning to the scene because he said he did “not want police looking for him.”
The amended charges also allege that Purnama was falsely impersonating his brother, Chandra Deddy Purnama, when in fact, now prosecutors say he is Chandra Dicky Purnama. The impersonation charges carries an additional maximum eight-month sentence.
One of Krieger’s close friends had told the Mercury News that Krieger had taken some classes at De Anza College after high school and had wanted to become a beautician.