3 Killed in Fresno County, Suspected DUI Accident

June 25, 2009 8:26:56 PM PDT
Fresno County investigators are trying to piece together the crash that took three young lives, and sent a suspected drunk driver to jail.It happened on Jensen near Armstrong in Fresno County, around 9:30 Wednesday night.

Vivian Garcia was going to be a sophomore at Roosevelt High School. The principal met with her parents Thursday. They lost two daughters in the accident that CHP officers say was caused by a drunk driver.

15 hours after the fatal accident California Highway Patrol officers were still taking measurements at the scene of the fatal crash.

The coroner's office has identified the victims as 14 year old Vivian Garcia, her sister 21 year old Virginia Garcia, and 20 year old Francisco Magana.

Officers say it appears all four in the Honda Civic were wearing their seatbelts, but unfortunately, the Honda Civic was no match head on for a Chevy Silverado. The lone survivor in the civic was driving, he remains in critical condition.

California Highway Patrol Officer Axel Reyes said, "When you have two cars colliding at 50 miles an hour from opposite directions, that's 100 miles an hour force impact. That's normally is enough to cause some major major damage."

Investigators believe William Rivera was traveling on the wrong side of Jensen Avenue when he first side swiped another truck before plowing into the civic.

Roosevelt High School Principal Brian Wells spent time with the Garcia family Thursday. They are devastated but shared with him some treasured memories including how Vivian got her name.

"Vivian because she was vivid. She said she was born with her eyes wide open. That just brings a sense of smile. Her older sister Virginia who was also tragically killed in the crash, she wanted to call her princess, princess jasmine so that's where Vivian jasmine came from," said Wells.

Investigators say they are working to figure out how long Rivera was driving in westbound lanes before the accident. They are also waiting for results on a blood test to see how intoxicated he was during the accident.

Rivera has no prior DUI's in Fresno County. He is awaiting sentencing on a child molestation charge.

Here at Roosevelt, even though school is out, counselors were on campus. A telephone message is also going out Thursday night.

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