When police informed Joseph Viridge that his wife had been hit by a car and killed the day after Thanksgiving by a motorist driving through a stop sign in their quiet Pasadena neighborhood, the first thing he asked was if she had been hurt.
They assured him that 33-year-old Yang Yang Liu died instantly.
The second question he asked was, “Where is the driver?” According to him, they refused to provide information.
“I should have asked a lot more questions at that point, but I just passed out,” Viria, 35, said Monday.
At around 11:00 am, Liu went for a jog on the route she had walked many times before. It usually took her about half an hour, so Viria texted her when she didn’t return by noon. After about two hours, he tried to call.
He called 20 to 30 times until at about 5:00 pm he was picked up by a police officer and told that they would deliver the news in person. Virija broke out in a cold sweat and began to shiver, already preparing for the worst.
“It was a roller coaster of emotions, from fear to maybe a little hope, to depression and grief,” he said.
According to him, when the authorities arrived at about 6 pm or 7 pm, he rallied himself.
The 20-year-old BMW 328i driver appears to have collided with Liu at around 11:19 a.m. at the intersection of Allen Avenue and San Pascual Street after not pulling over at a stop sign, said Lt. Anthony Russo of the Pasadena Police Department. …
Police believe the driver, whose name has not been released, exceeded the speed limit of 30 miles per hour.
According to Russo, paramedics were called, but Liu died of a serious head injury at the scene. The intersection is about a mile and a half from the house where Viriya, Liu and their two dogs live.
The driver was not arrested and quoted. Russo said police are investigating to determine if there was criminal negligence that would have prompted the case to be referred to the district attorney, he said.
Viria expressed disappointment. He wants more information about the driver and believes the investigation can be completed sooner than three to six months, which police say may be required.
“We just don’t want the other person to go through what we went through,” he said.
Investigations into fatal collisions can take weeks, months, and sometimes more than a year, Russo said.
“You definitely never want to tell someone too early and then they’re looking for an answer and… you don’t have one,” Russo said, adding that three to six months is quite a statute of limitations for any charges that might be served.
Meanwhile, Viria tries to fight the void left by his wife’s death.
“It wasn’t long before the marriage,” Viria said of the five-year union. “She was definitely my soul mate; she was everything to me. ”
According to him, for the last three days he barely ate and slept for about five hours. He said he was considering taking his own life and had to throw out the sleeping pills. His mother flew in from Singapore “to make sure I don’t do anything too stupid,” and friends stop by every few hours. His relatives also came from the Bay Area where Liu grew up.
“She was a very strong and brilliant woman, a wonderful wife and daughter,” said Viria, head of finance for the fintech company.
According to Virigi, Liu left her job at an investment bank to pursue her dream of working in the media industry and most recently served as a senior manager on the Amazon Studios content strategy team.
Since 2007, the City of Pasadena has received eight requests for a road safety review in the area where Liu died, said Lisa Derderian, a city spokeswoman.
She said in an email that there were “general safety concerns” as well as requests for stop signs, pedestrian crossings and speed bumps, and a number of actions were taken to address them.
Among other things, in 2009, the City installed a sign warning motorists to stop ahead at Allen and installed a pedestrian crossing at all four sections of the intersection. A year later, stencils were added to warn drivers of an upcoming stop, and the size of stop signs was increased.
Speeding incidents, collisions and pedestrian injuries appear to be on the increase in Pasadena, as well as in neighboring Burbank and Glendale, Russo said. Pasadena has seen nine fatal collisions this year, including seven involving pedestrians, the last of which he described as “large numbers.”
Over the past five years, there have been two accidents at the intersection of Allen and São Pascual streets – in 2017 and 2020 – and none of them resulted in serious injuries.
Rousseau said the number of collisions during this period was not significant compared to other intersections, although he did not consider this to be a problem.
He believes this recent clash could have been prevented.
“If the speed had been slower and if the group driving the car had paid attention to the signs and stopped at the signs, this collision would not have happened,” he said.