Condolences from Families of Teens Involved in Crash

August 11, 2009 12:45:58 AM PDT
Investigators identified the three teens that were in a stolen car Saturday in Tulare County when it plowed into a truck with five children inside.       |   Watch Videos Above for More Information on this Story   |

The parents of those five kids, Carlos and Jennifer Salazar, are still recovering here at Community Regional Medical Center. They're listed in fair condition.

The CHP has identified the three other victims who were involved in Saturday's crash. They're all teenagers, two of which were best friends from Dinuba.

The memorial at the intersection of Avenue 120 and Road 424 in Tulare County continued to grow Monday.

Toys, flowers and candles surround a picture of the five Salazar children who died here in a car crash Saturday afternoon.

The siblings were heading to a football game in Orosi with their parents Carlos and Jennifer, when a Dodge Neon ran a stop sign, slamming into their pickup truck.

Dinuba Police were pursuing the Neon for running a stop sign. It wasn't until after the crash that police realized the car had been carjacked the night before.

Dinuba Police Chief James Olvera said, "He attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle failure to stop, the emergency lights and accelerated and continued eastbound on 424."

Three teenagers inside the stolen car also died at the scene. The driver, 17-year-old Oscar Esparza of San Diego, and Dinuba residents, 19-year old Arthur Rivas and 16-year old Richard Carrasco.

Alexandria Gonzales said, "I had all these dreams for him. My family had all these hopes and dreams and you know, we're never going to see that."

Alexandria is Carrasco's older sister. He died alongside his best friend in the car, Arthur Rivas.

Arthur's sister Sonia Rivas said, "Everybody loved him. Everybody loved him."

Both sisters say their brothers are victims as well. As they mourn their own family, they're also offering condolences to the parents who lost their five children.

"I know what you're going through and just hang in there," said Sonia.

Alexandria said, "I just want to tell that that behalf of my family, we're very sorry. We're sorry for everything that's happened to them. But we don't want him to be portrayed as some murderer."

Both sisters say they don't know why their brothers were in that stolen car. They also don't know the 17-year-old boy who was driving the car or where he lived.

Funeral arrangements are still pending for all of the eight victims.

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