3 sisters die, 1 injured in Fresno County DUI crash

Parishioners said a prayer for the three sisters that were killed during mass Sunday morning.
January 26, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A deadly DUI related car crash killed three sisters and sent the fourth to the hospital Saturday night. Sunday the Fresno County coroner's office released the identities of the alleged drunk driver and the victims involved in the fatal collision.

Parishioners said a prayer for the three sisters that were killed during mass Sunday morning. They prayed the surviving sister will make a full recovery. Those that knew them say they were born and raised in Del Rey.

The crash happened along McCall, north of Belmont just after 6 p.m. Saturday. The alleged drunk driver has been identified as 56-year-old Tranquilno Figueroa.

The survivor of the crash is in fair condition at Community Regional Medical Center. CHP has identified her as 67-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez of Del Rey. The three women killed in the car with her, were her sisters.

California Highway Patrol officers say Figueroa was drunk when he got behind the wheel of a minivan. He was driving north on McCall and drifted into the path of a Toyota Yaris. The CHP said the driver of the Toyota, 67-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez tried to swerve out of the way, but couldn't avoid a head-on collision.

Elizabeth Rodriguez was taken to the hospital. Her three sisters in the car with her died on scene. The three women have been identified as 73-year-old Jennie Monreal from Sanger, 72-year-old Josephine Contreras of San Jose, and 70-year-old Dolores Rodriguez of Del Rey.

Several people told Action News the four women were driving back from a casino on Saturday night. California Highway Patrol officers say all the victims were wearing their seatbelts.

CHP said Figueroa was also involved in another collision earlier the same night. They say Figueroa ran a stop sign and turned too-wide, clipping another car and then taking off from that scene. No injuries were reported from that accident.

A family member said their families are making funeral arrangements. The alleged drunk driver is in the hospital with major injuries. He has been placed under arrest and is facing DUI and gross vehicular man slaughter charges.


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