Family mourns the loss of their mother, grandmother

Jacqueline Randall died following a four-vehicle crash at

Morgan Hill resident Jacqueline Randall, 43, will be missed by
her two grown children, four grandchildren and many friends in
southern Santa Clara County following her death in a traffic
Morgan Hill resident Jacqueline Randall, 43, will be missed by her two grown children, four grandchildren and many friends in southern Santa Clara County following her death in a traffic accident.

Randall was pronounced dead after being airlifted to a trauma center following a Wednesday night crash at the intersection of Leavesley and Monterey roads in north Gilroy, police Sgt. Jim Gillio said. The accident, which involved four vehicles, was first reported about 6:48 p.m.

The crash knocked over a bus stop and a cement garbage can, and sheared off a highway road sign. Gillio said the Gilroy Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team is still looking into the accident – which turned Randall’s light-colored Ford Focus into a heap of twisted metal.

Both Randall’s grown children recalled their mother as a loving person who laughed often. The family enjoyed camping when the kids were younger, and Randall’s son, Morgan Hill resident Michael Ferro, said he used to bring her coffee from Starbucks when he visited her.

“She was a great person with a big heart for everybody,” Ferro said. “She was a wonderful mom, and a wonderful grandmother.”

Randall enjoyed dancing, and Thursday morning Ferro was getting ready to pick her up and spend the day with her, then take her dancing for New Year’s Eve, he said. But before he left his home he received a phone call notifying him of the accident. Randall was in a “good mood” the last time he saw her Tuesday, he said.

Randall, who lived off Watsonville Road with her husband of nearly eight years – Craig Randall – had four grandchildren. Ferro, 24, has a 4-year-old daughter. His sister, Colorado resident Amy Inniss, 26, has three children.

The last time Inniss saw her mother was in August 2009. Inniss brought her three children to California for a two-week vacation with their grandmother. The clan went to Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, went swimming and “just lounged around.”

“She was doing really good. She was happy,” Inniss said by telephone Monday.

Jacqueline Randall moved back and forth between Morgan Hill and Gilroy her whole life, Inniss said. Her children grew up in the area, though Inniss moved to Colorado when she was in high school.

Jacqueline Randall worked at Wal-Mart in Gilroy for about two years before she died.

“She had a lot of friends – she was friends with everybody,” Inniss said. “She was a free spirit and she was always putting others before herself.”

The collision that killed Jacqueline Randall Wednesday night shocked witnesses.

“I’ve been here five years and seen three accidents, and nothing was ever like this,” said Liz Ruzendall, who works at Water Warehouse just feet from the scene of the accident and lives above the business. “There was nothing left of that car.”

The accident also involved a Chevrolet truck with one occupant, a Honda that contained two people and a parked Isuzu sport utility vehicle, Gillio said.

There were no other injuries, according to police. At this point, it does not appear that alcohol played a role in the crash, Gillio said.

Roberto Martinez, who works at VP Racing next to where the accident occurred, said he heard a huge “boom” while he was working on a car in the shop, and he went outside to see what happened. Jacqueline Randall’s Focus spun around about three times before crashing into the bus stop, the hydrant and the highway road sign, he said.

“I called 911 because I heard the lady screaming in the vehicle,” Martinez said. The screaming stopped by the time police arrived, he said.

Martinez said he did not actually see the collision, but he overheard a witness saying the Focus may have run a red light before colliding with the truck. Gillio would not confirm witness accounts of the accident because it is still under investigation.

Martinez said Jacqueline Randall’s car was on fire at first, and someone asked him for a fire extinguisher from the shop to put out the flames. Firefighters had to use hydraulic tools to remove the car’s roof and then Jacqueline Randall from the Focus, Martinez said.

Ruzendall said parts of the Focus and pieces of cement landed right next to the door of the Water Warehouse.

Jacqueline Randall’s pet dog, a pit bull and boxer mix named Diamond, was with her and also died in the collision. Ferro, who cremates pets for a living, said his mother asked him to cremate Diamond when she died and bury the dog and her owner together if Randall died first.

“She loved that dog,” Ferro said. “I cremated the dog, and that dog will be buried with my mom.”

Randall’s family is planning a burial service at 10 a.m. Friday in Gilroy.

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