The Bodies of Three Hanford Teens Found in a Canal

June 11, 2008 1:50:56 PM PDT
Friends and family members of three recent high school graduates are dealing with a tragic loss in the south valley.This morning Investigators found a car upside down in a canal south of Hanford. They discovered the bodies of three teenagers trapped inside.

The three teens just graduated from here. They all walked across the stage last Wednesday and had plans to go to college. But sadly their dreams have ended.

Investigators found this sedan upside down, submerged in a canal. The water was flowing fast trapping the three friends inside. 17-year-old Cory Kennedy and 18-year-olds Jesus Rios and Carlos Sigala Junior died.

Bobby Peters Jr., School Principal: "Hanford West is a large family. We are all grieving the loss."

School principal Bobby Peters knew the recent graduates. He said Rios and Sigala were members of the school's marching band.

Bobby Peters Jr.: "Every time a school experiences this kind of loss no matter how few or how many it does change the fact that it's going to change the culture around here."

Dangerous is how locals describe the spot where the teens died. Investigators don't know how long the car was underwater and they don't believe drugs or alcohol played a factor.

Jerry Pierce, CHP: "They didn't have seat belts on when the vehicle was pulled from the canal but who's to say they didn't take them off in a desperate fight to get out of there."

The car belonged to Sigala's family. They own a well-known Hanford restaurant called Los Carlos. It was closed on Tuesday as employees remembered working with Carlos Junior.

Patty Garmtham: "He was the sweetest, sweetest kid you ever knew, He just come through that door and gleam from ear to ear."

The school's principal said no formal memorials are planned here. But summer school begins Wednesday and students may plan something then.

The CHP is still investigating. They don't know if the teens drowned or died from the impact.


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