Fresno Co family mourning girl killed in crash

October 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno County family is mourning the loss of a teenager killed after a semi-truck crashed into the car she was in.

16-year-old Lilia Zaragoza died in the crash and her boyfriend, Henry Becerra, is in the hospital with moderate injuries.

Family members say 16-year-old Lilia Zaragoza was on her way to visit her father Sunday night. Just as the car she was riding in prepared to turn into his driveway, her life abruptly ended.

Video taken from a nearby business captured some of the fatal crash.

The California Highway Patrol says a 2004 Pontiac had just returned to its lane after passing another car.

Officers say the 18-year-old driver made an unsafe turn and lost control of his car before it entered the eastbound lane sideways, directly into the path of a big rig.

Lilia Zaragoza's family heard the crash.

Dassy Madrigal rushed over with Lilia's father. She will never forget the heartbreaking scene.

"He had her in his arms and he was like 'why Lupita? why my Lupita?'. Cause we called her Lupita cause her middle name is Guadalupe. And it was just terrible," Madrigal said.

Zaragoza was a sophomore at Kerman High, and Becerra had recently graduated from the school. Monday, many students said they knew the couple and were very sad.

"A lot of people are crying and they are just in shock of how things happen. From one day to another something, even from a minute to another, something happens," Kerman High student John Paramo said.

Loved ones say Lilia Zaragoza was energetic, outgoing and happy. She helped her cousin get through the death of her mother earlier this year.

"We were barely getting through my mom passing and now it's like all over again. And it's like now we have a horrible year and we don't even want to go to the fair anymore. It's just really tough for us," Madrigal said.

The California Highway Patrol says both Zaragoza and Becerra were wearing seatbelts but the impact to the passenger side was just too severe.


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