Family of SUV Driver in Stroller Crash “Heartbroken”

Investigation ongoing into allegations of a red light violation moments before the crash

The woman accused of running a red light and striking a nanny and her charge is heartbroken over the incident.

San Diego resident Monserrat Mendez was killed when an SUV struck her as she was pushing a stroller carrying a toddler in the 14700 block of Camino Del Sur and Via Verrazzano.

Preliminary findings in the investigation suggest that the driver, who officials have not named, ran a red light before driving into the stroller.

Mendez, 41, was pronounced dead at the hospital. She was working as a nanny for a Santaluz family at the time of the accident. She leaves two teenage children of her own.

The 14-month-old toddler was critically injured. The boy was hospitalized in intensive care where he is recovering from a fractured femur, pelvic fracture, broken rib, broken leg and a skull fracture according to his parents.

In a statement sent to NBC 7 San Diego Tuesday, the driver’s family said they “wish to express that our hearts are broken by the horrific circumstances of this accident.”

While the driver does not want to speak to NBC 7 San Diego in person, her family said they are keeping the victims’ families in their hearts and prayers.

“The profound sorrow that we feel pales in comparison to the suffering of Ms. Mendez's family as well as young Bryan and his family,” the statement read.

The driver was not cited because of the pending investigation, said Sgt. John Saflar with San Diego Police Department Traffic Division. It is unknown how fast she was driving.

After running a check on the vehicle’s license plate, NBC 7 learned the car was registered to a Jeffrey Padilla who lives near the scene of the accident.

A man who identified himself as a Mr. Padilla answered the door of the home and said his wife was too distraught to issue a statement.

“Please, she’s gone through enough,” Padilla said Friday. “There’s no way we can give a statement right now. We have a one-day-old baby.”

Contact Us