There are times when an accident fatality occurs that it can rock an entire community. Some people are natural leaders and voluteers and are seen as pillars of the community. When the accident is due to a suspected drunk driver, there is outrage.
The woman killed by a hit-and-run in Mission Beach over the weekend was described as the ‘heart and soul’ of the community.
Maruta Gardner, 69, was doing what she always did – volunteering – when she was struck and killed by suspected drunk driver. The accident occurred at about 5:45 pm Friday evening. Gardner was painting over graffiti at the entrance to the Jetty at 800 San Diego Place. She suffered critical head injuries and sadly, succumbed to these injuries.
So, far officials have been able to piece together that Gardner was struck by a black Toyota Corolla that might have been involved with a road rage incident with a white Mustang. The driver of the Corolla sped to the right of the Mustang and onto the shoulder, where he hit Gardner.
The driver of the Corolla sped away from the accident and pulled into a nearby parking lot before speeding away again. Authorities caught up with the driver a short time later. Police confirmed the driver was arrested under suspicion of DUI.
Residents of Mission Beach and neighbors of Gardner are both saddened and angry. They remember Gardner as someone who always stepped up to do what needed to be done. She not only worked within the community to paint over graffiti, but to help neighbors in need as well. Several friends and community members recounted how much her loss would affect the community.
If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to obtain legal representation. Our attorneys specialize in DUI proceedings. Contact us today.