Woman killed in fatal accident was well-known burlesque performer 

click to enlarge Sarah Klein was killed early Sunday when a car driven by her husband, Raul Padilla, spun out of control on U.S. Highway 101 and was then struck by a party bus. Klein, who was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Padilla was hospitalized in critical condition.
  • Sarah Klein was killed early Sunday when a car driven by her husband, Raul Padilla, spun out of control on U.S. Highway 101 and was then struck by a party bus. Klein, who was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Padilla was hospitalized in critical condition.

The woman killed in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 101 on the Peninsula early Sunday morning was a nationally known, Bay Area-based burlesque performer.

Sarah Klein, 36, who performed under the name Sparkly Devil, was riding southbound on the highway in a Honda coupe driven by her husband, Raul Padilla, when the vehicle spun out of control near the Broadway exit in Burlingame and crashed into the middle divider about 2:05 a.m.

The vehicle came to rest facing north in the left lane. A party bus then crashed head-on with the Honda.

Klein was pronounced dead at the scene and Padilla was hospitalized in critical condition. Eight of the 18 people in the party bus also were injured, but not seriously, according to the California Highway Patrol.  

The couple had consumed alcohol before the crash, but toxicology tests must be conducted to determine if Padilla was OK to drive, according to the CHP. Klein reportedly was not wearing a seat belt.

If Padilla is determined to have been under the influence, he could face manslaughter and felony DUI charges.

Klein was co-producer of the burlesque show “Hubba Hubba Revue,” which she had performed hours earlier in San Francisco on Saturday night.

The show is one of the biggest burlesque troupes in the country, and Klein was to be honored at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas this week, according to her friend Angelique X.

“She lived without apology,” Angelique X said. “She was loud and bright, yet down to earth. She was the screwball comedian with the big heart.”

Klein’s Facebook page says she began performing burlesque in 2000. She was featured in the film “Broad Daylight,” profiled on Comcast’s “Something Weird” series and made two appearances on TLC’s reality series “LA Ink.”

Her last Facebook post promoted her Saturday night show.

“This Saturday: start your Memorial Day weekend with a BANG with Hubba Hubba Revue! I’ll be doing the act I’m performing at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, so come see me off before I hit Vegas!”

Many of her friends and fans posted their condolences on the page.

“Wow her last post mentioning the weekend that she past, what a loss, my heart goes out to the ones closest to her!” Lora Lamb posted.

rnagle@sfexaminer.com

Katy St. Clair, special to The S.F. Examiner, and wire services contributed to this report.

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