Drunken driver claims life of Skyline soccer player

Skyline Soccor website (Gina Murray)

Skyline Soccor website (Gina Murray)

Skyline student, Jihan Abdel-Gawad was killed by a driver under the influence on El Camino Real on Sunday Oct. 16

Abdel-Gawad, 18, was with close friend Ashlee Prather, 16, in the 1600 blocks of El Camino Real when they were hit by Patrick Archie Worden, 23, of Santa Rosa, at approximately 12:22 p.m., according to a Burlingame police department press release. Abdel-Gawad and Prather were pulled over on the shoulder with car problems when Worden drifted onto the shoulder and struck them, according to the Burlingame police department press release.

Worden was given a breathalyzer two hours after the accident and failed the test with a blood alcohol level of .16, twice the legal limit.

Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County deputy district attorney, said Worden has been charged with 2 counts of vehicular manslaughter. Worden has not made a plea yet but will have court on Oct. 25, where he must make a plea. Wagstaffe says that Worden will most likely plead not guilty. If Worden is found guilty he could face up to 13 years in state prison.

Worden is waiting for an attorney to be assigned to his case through the private defender program for the County of San Mateo. He and his attorney will make his case in court on the 25th at 1:30 p.m. Worden is currently being held in custody without bail.

Both girls were pronounced dead at the scene according to San Mateo County Chief Deputy Coroner Tom Marriscolo. Marriscolo also said that the autopsies revealed that both girls suffered multiple traumatic injuries. Marriscolo is waiting on the toxicology report for each girl which will be ready in 4-6 weeks.

Abdel-Gawad was an athlete at Skyline College, as a mid centerfielder on the women’s soccer team. Abdel-Gawad was a starter as freshman and was a strong leader on the field said Coach Kevin Corsiglia.

“Jihan was the kind of person who you could always count on to give it her all on the field,” Coach Corsiglia said. “Off the field she was working really hard to get her life back on track.”

Abdel-Gawad had some trouble in High School but worked hard to get her life back on track.

“Going to college was a big thing for her,” Corsiglia said. “She was very hard-working. She was growing up.”

Coach Corsiglia said Abdel-Gawad was finally starting to use the potential she always had inside of her and wants everyone to know they have so much potential inside.

“I will always try to tell people there is always the opportunity to get your life back,” Corsiglia said.

Coach Corsiglia told his team the news on Mon. Oct. 17 at practice. Coach postponed their game originally scheduled for the following day against Cabrillo College to give his team some time to be ready. The game against Cabrillo was played on Wed. Oct. 19 where the Trojans lost 2-7.

“I don’t know how much time is the right time,” Coach Corsiglia said. “By the way we played I don’t know if two days was enough time. We’re terribly sad. This is the first person we’ve lost from the women’s soccer program. It’s emotional. We have to learn how to deal with it.”

Coach Corsiglia said that they are going to honor Abdel-Gawad’s memory with something on the field. Corsiglia said they were thinking about a plaque or a tree.

“We didn’t know her that long, only a couple of months,” Coach Corsiglia said. “But we don’t want to forget her.”

The team was planning a candlelight vigil for Abdel-Gawad on Wed. night and were going to attend her service together on Sunday Oct. 23.