Victims of Fiery I-80 Crash Mourned by Family, Neighbors

photoPETALUMA-

Residents of a quiet Petaluma neighborhood were astounded that of the couple killed in fiery collision on Interstate 80 Thursday lived on their street.

Phang Phetsomphou, 76, and his 74-year-old wife, Bouaket, lived on Cascade Court for more than a decade.

Family members and friends gathered at their home after word of the identities of the accident victims spread  Family members told FOX40 that they were still grieving and weren’t ready to talk about the couple.

Almost everyone knew of the widely reported accident in which the driver of a big rig lost control of his truck while eating behind the wheel.  His truck jumped the median after hitting two cars, then smashed head-on into the Phetsomphous’ BMW sedan. But no one imagined the victims might be neighbors.

Their identities were released the Sonoma County Coroner Fiday.

Several neighbors say Bouaket could be seen taking walks in the neighborhood sometimes with her grandchildren.  The couple otherwise kept to themselves.

Phang was retired from his job with the Sonoma County Human Services Department, where he served as a translator for fellow Laotian immigrants.  He helped found the Wat Lao Saysettha temple in nearby Santa Rosa where served as president until recently.

People at temple say Phang was highly respected in the community, well educated and known for service to the community. They say he will sorely missed. The couple had four grown children and several grandchildren.

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