As a man charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI underwent arraignment Friday, details finally emerged about the woman killed Wednesday when the defendant's van jumped the curb and struck her while she was on the sidewalk along Sabre Springs Parkway.
It took medical examiner's investigators a lot of effort to notify Sandra Kay Kennedy's next-of-kin.
At 63, Kennedy was long divorced, retired as a special education teacher in the city schools, and lived alone with four cats. She had her back turned to the driver who ended her life.
Friday afternoon, 35-year-old Carl William David Jr., a transient whose last known address was in El Centro, pleaded not guilty and was taken back to jail in lieu of $250,000 bail pending an Oct. 30 pretrial hearing.
Mourners placed memorial flowers and cards at her Sabre Springs home and on the sidewalk where she was struck taking her daily walk from her nearby Wimberly Square neighborhood.
Authorities said she was headed in the same southerly direction as the traffic behind her when David swerved off Sabre Springs Parkway and slammed into Kennedy.
"Everybody liked Sandy so much," said Leonard Watson, one of Kennedy's neighbors, in an interview Friday. "She was a very delightful woman and just talked to everyone as she went on her walks."
Neighbors said she tutored students in her home and was writing a book in the literary "voice" of one of her cats. They have been told Kennedy's will bequeaths her estate to the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
Watson said her death was just the latest in a number of serious motor vehicle accidents, including other fatalities, on Sabre Springs Parkway in recent years. They're organizing to approach the city for some safety measures and are collecting monetary donations to build a permanent memorial to Kennedy at the site of her death.
"He was on a meth binge," Deputy District Attorney Amy Colby told the judge. "And he said the first time he realized he hit the victim was when he saw her face hit the windshield."
Colby said David is a longtime drug abuser with prior DUI and child endangerment arrests, as well as six warrants for failure to appear in court.