Authorities ID driver in wrong-way crash in San Ysidro that killed her, 2 detectives
A 58-year-old woman from Ramona was identified by authorities as the wrong-way driver who crashed into and killed two San Diego police detectives and died herself last week in San Ysidro.
The San Diego County medical examiner’s office said Sandra Daniels was behind the wheel of the Honda Civic that was traveling north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 when it ran into a car driven by San Diego police Det. Ryan Park.
Park, 32, and his wife, fellow Det. Jamie Huntley-Park, 33, were killed.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
Daniels’ husband, Darrell Daniels, said his wife had diabetes and may have become disoriented because of low blood sugar. He said she never would have intentionally driven the wrong way on the freeway.
“We are terribly broken up about that,” he said of the two officers who were killed. “She never would have wanted to hurt anyone.”
Daniels, who is retired from the Navy, said his wife had gone to Balboa Naval Medical Center that morning to fill her insulin prescription and must have headed south by mistake.
He figures that at some point she realized she was near the border and got off the freeway to turn around but mistakenly started driving the wrong way on Interstate 5.
Daniels said CHP investigators are trying to track his wife’s cellphone to determine the exact path she took Friday. Her husband said he’s trying to get records from the company that makes the glucose monitor she used to see if they can determine what her levels were like that morning.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 17, Daniels knew to closely monitor her glucose levels, and she used an insulin pump. Her husband thinks her blood sugar got too low and she was in a state of confusion when she got on the freeway heading the wrong way.
“What happens to you when your sugar starts dropping you’ll start feeling it and you’re like, ‘Hey I’ve got to get something to eat.’ If it goes a couple points past that, you forget about eating and you go into a state of not really knowing what you are doing,” he said. “It is like your battery is running down, slowly, and it will keep running down until you go unconscious.”
He thinks she may have given herself too much insulin shortly before the crash in response to a blood-sugar spike.
“If she had her faculties 100%, she would have known that she’s on the wrong side and pulled over. But she wasn’t seeing” the cars around her, he said.
Darrell and Sandra had been married for 33 years, and she was a stay-at-home mom when the couple’s two boys were little. She had health problems and walked with the aid of crutches because of bad knees. She mainly stayed home except for her twice-a-week trips to the pharmacy.
Since the crash, there has been a public outpouring of sympathy for the two police officers who were killed.
Ryan and Jamie met while in the San Diego police academy in 2012 and married in 2016. They both were promoted to detective in 2018. Police Chief David Nisleit has said they were off work Friday but were following up on cases when they were killed.
The pair lived in Escondido, where community members and law enforcement officers gathered Sunday for a vigil. City Heights community members also honored the couple Tuesday night, while earlier that day a procession of more than 100 officers escorted their caskets from the medical examiner’s office to a mortuary.
Services for the couple are expected to be held Tuesday.
Kucher writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.
7:24 p.m. June 10, 2021: This story was updated with additional information.
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