Photograph of Gail Minsky

At the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Gail Minsky: News Reports

S.F. woman, 70, dies in Oakland wreck

Published January 11, 2006 in The Oakland Tribune.

Police say victim's car broadsided leaving lot in the hills; no charges filed.

OAKLAND — What began as a routine trip to the supermarket ended horrifically for a 70-year-old San Francisco woman killed when the driver of a Toyota pickup truck plowed into her Honda sedan outside a Safeway in the Oakland hills.

Oakland police Officer Randy Pope said witnesses provided conflicting accounts of the fatal 3 p.m. crash Tuesday on Redwood Road outside the Lincoln Square Shopping Center in Redwood Heights.

But Pope said preliminary traffic studies support the version provided by the driver of the Toyota Tundra, a 27-year-old Oakland man, who afterward sat in the back of a patrol car visibly shaken and talking on a cell phone.

The driver said he was traveling south on Redwood Road when the woman pulled out of the Safeway lot, Pope said.

The impact crushed the driver's side of the older Honda Accord, requiring the metal Jaws of Life to extricate the woman from the crumpled car.

Emergency crews pronounced her dead at the scene.

No charges were filed, although Pope said investigators would continue to question the driver of the Toyota.

The woman's name was not released because family members had not been notified.

Woman dies in Fruitvale hit-and-run

Published January 12, 2006 in The Oakland Tribune.

OAKLAND — A hit-and-run driver killed a woman crossing a Fruitvale district street Wednesday, police said.

She was the second person in two days to die in a traffic-related accident in Oakland and the fourth so far this year.

Authorities were trying to determine the woman's name Wednesday night. They are offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the driver's arrest.

The woman was walking southbound across the 3800 block of International Boulevard outside a crosswalk about 5:30 a.m. She had almost made it to the other side when she was hit by a vehicle traveling eastbound on International, police said.

The impact threw the woman into the air, and she landed on her head.

"She may have also been run over by the vehicle," traffic Officer Vinnie Johnson said.

She had no identification with her, and police are not sure what she was doing in the area.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run death should call police at 238-3156 or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at 238-6946.

About 3 p.m. Tuesday, Gail Minsky, 70, of San Francisco died after her Honda Accord was broadsided by a Toyota Tundra truck on the 4100 block of Redwood Road, trapping her inside the vehicle.

Police said Minsky was trying to make a left turn from a shopping mall driveway onto northbound Redwood Road when she was hit by the Toyota, which was southbound.

The driver of the Toyota, Kevin Hart, 27, who was heading home after walking his dog in the Oakland hills, sustained minor injuries, police said.

Hart and others who saw the wreck tried to aid Minsky until paramedics arrived, traffic Officer Randy Pope said.

Hart was questioned by police and released pending further investigation.

Pope said documents found in Minsky's car indicated she was employed as a "secret shopper" who had been assigned to check out a Safeway supermarket in the mall.

Anyone who may have seen that wreck is asked to call police at 238-3156.

The two deaths brought to four the number of traffic fatalities this year in Oakland.