Tragedy in Oakmont
In the early afternoon of Jan. 20, two Oakmont women were hit by a car as it left the Oakmont Village Market, sending them to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Jackie Simon, 85, died of her injuries on Jan. 26. The other victim, Josephine Ross, 91, has been released from the hospital after suffering serious injuries, and is recuperating. The driver, Gayle Gray, 77, also of Oakmont, is being charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Gray was leaving the market parking lot on Oakmont Dr. around 1 p.m. when she became distracted by her dog and pushed down hard on the gas pedal instead of the brake. Gray struck Simon and Ross as they walked on the sidewalk, throwing them on the hood of Gray’s Lexus before sending them to the ground. The car kept going across a median before finally coming to a stop against a chain link fence on the other side of Oakmont Dr. According to news reports in the Press Democrat, authorities suspect Gray was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication. Gray has a previous DUI conviction in 2002.