The driver who died in a on Interstate 280 Saturday has been identified as Isaac Mejia, the beloved owner of Don Pico's and an active member of the San Bruno community.
Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, Mejia was heading north on I-280 near the interstate Highway 380 connector in San Bruno when his car slammed into a concrete wall on the freeway, the CHP said.
Mejia, 51, a longtime San Bruno resident, was pronounced dead at the scene, and investigators are trying to determine whether he died solely due to injuries suffered in the crash or for medical reasons.
Mejia grew up in San Bruno and was the son of immigrants from the Mexican state of Sonora—Issac Mejia Sr. and Herlinda Mejia—who opened in 1975. The restaurant was a small operation until Mejia took over the restaurant in 1999. He brightened the look of the restaurant, updated the kitchen and added his own touch to the menu.
Don Pico's is now an institution in the city.
Recently, the restaurant , and the exterior of the building was updated, the restaurant was expanded in size, and a second dining room and bar were added. Mejia also adorned the restaurant with a number of antique items, including chandeliers made from Austrian crystal from the San Francisco Ferry Building, a trophy fish from Bing Crosby’s private collection and a 1925 mahogany Brunswick bar from the San Francisco Cliff House—an extension of his love for art and design.
Just down the street from Don Pico's is Mejia's second San Bruno restaurant, The Rib Shack.
In addition to being a restauranteur, Mejia was very active in the business and volunteer community. He has been involved with the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce for years, and he was a dedicated member of the San Bruno Lions Club.
At the Lions Club's installation ceremony in June, the club honored Mejia with the .
One of the things Mejia was always known for was his willingness to serve others.
"He was one of the most magnanimous people I've ever met," said Mel Phillips, a past president of the San Bruno Lions Club. "He was willing to help everybody."
Mejia leaves behind a wife and a daughter.