A second sister critically injured in a crash with a California Highway Patrol vehicle on northbound U.S. 101 in Palo Alto on Friday morning succumbed to her injuries Friday night, according to the CHP.
The double-fatal collision was reported at 6:49 a.m. at Embarcadero Road. A gold Lexus SUV crashed into a CHP vehicle that was pulled over on the right-hand side of the road.
The SUV was occupied by the Tandel family from San Bruno, with the father, Arvind Tandel, 48, driving, his 34-year-old wife in the passenger seat, and four sisters, ages 12 to 24, sitting in the back seats, CHP Officer Amelia Jack said.
A 24-year-old woman, the oldest of the siblings, was ejected with another sister from the SUV after the SUV struck the CHP vehicle. The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, Officer Jack said.
Another sister was brought to Stanford Hospital and later succumbed to her injuries at the hospital Friday night, according to the CHP.
Yogita Tandel, 34, was also brought to that hospital with major injuries.
Arvind Tandel suffered major injuries and was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, as was a 12-year-old sister with moderate injuries and another sister, Payal Tandel, 22.
Before the crash, the CHP vehicle driven by CHP Officer Matis had pulled up next to a broken-down white Ford F-350 pickup truck that was pulled over on the right-hand shoulder. After speaking to the truck's occupants, Officer Matis pulled up in front of the truck, which is when the SUV swerved into the shoulder for unknown reasons and hit the left side of the parked patrol vehicle, Officer Jack said.
The SUV then flipped multiple times before coming to a rest on its wheels near the Embarcadero Road off-ramp after the two sisters were ejected.
CHP Officer Matis suffered a cut and bruise to his face. He was the sole occupant in the CHP vehicle. He was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released.
Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the fatal collision, Officer Jack said.
The 24-year-old and 12-year-old sisters were not wearing seatbelts, according to the CHP. The other four family members were buckled up.
The CHP officer had put up a flashing arrowboard while he was pulled over completely onto the highway's shoulder, according to the CHP.
Following the crash, traffic was backed up as far south as the junction with state Highway 85, about 5 miles away, with lane closures in effect for more than six hours until about 1 p.m. The nearby on- and off-ramps were closed until about 4:15 p.m., according to the CHP.