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Cruz Reynoso, former state Supreme Court justice, injured in Virginia car accident

June 24, 2010 |  4:21 pm

Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso and wife, Elaine Rowen Reynoso, remain hospitalized in Virginia after a car accident that left both of them in serious condition, officials at UC Davis School of Law said Thursday.

The Reynosos and the justice’s grandson were traveling in a rental car when it collided with a sport utility vehicle on Sunday.

The grandson, whose name has not been released, sustained minor injuries and is back in California, according to the law school. The Reynosos remain hospitalized in Virginia.

Reynoso, 79, sustained broken bones and a punctured lung, said son Len Reid Reynoso. He is out of the intensive care unit and is “recovering well.”

“Dad is OK,” Reid Reynoso said. “We’re hoping he’ll be in rehab soon and we’ll go from there….Elaine, we’ll wait to see how her recovery goes. She is in intensive care in an induced coma.”

Reynoso, who is an emeritus professor at UC Davis School of Law, was the first Latino to serve on the state high court. He was swept out of office in 1986 during a rancorous election that also targeted Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird and Justice Joseph R. Grodin. Elaine Reynoso is a trustee with the Sierra Community College District and a member of the Placer County First Five Commission.

“The last four days have been extremely difficult,” the Reynoso family said in a statement distributed by the law school. “We want to thank everyone who has offered their love and support. We continue to be in touch with Justice Reynoso and Elaine during their recovery. We ask that you respect our privacy in this difficult time.”

--Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco