Five dead after car accident near Riverdale

A traffic collision between two vehicles has left a mother and her four children dead.
February 15, 2014 3:07:35 PM PST
A tragic car crash killed a mother and her four children. The accident happened near Marks and Excelsior Avenues in Fresno County around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Capt. Dave Paris with the California Highway Patrol said the mother was 29-years-old. Paris says her 1 and 3-year-old sons were with her, as well as her 6 and 11-year-old daughters. He says they were killed after another driver ran a stop sign.

Shattered glass and debris covered the scene of a deadly car accident that claimed five lives. California Highway Patrol officers said the driver of a red Nissan Quest was headed west and ran a stop sign, colliding with a white Ford Expedition, with a family of five inside.

Both vehicles were going about 60 mph during the collision. The SUV carrying the family was thrown to the front lawn of a home on the southwest corner of the intersection. The SUV caught on fire with the mother and children trapped inside.

"The vehicle burst into flames somehow, which is kind of unique, but the parties were unable to get out of the vehicle it appears the driver tried to get out but didn't make it," Paris said.

CHP officers said the family was coming home from a relative's birthday party, and the father was following his family in another car.

"The father relayed that he watched them and all of a sudden he saw this flash and he got into the intersection and the car was already on fire. And he made every effort he could to get his kids and family out of the car and he burned himself trying to get them out of the car," Paris said.

CHP officers say the driver of the Nissan, 41-year-old Juana Martinez Bejarano from Riverdale, was airlifted to the hospital with moderate to major injuries.

CHP is still investigating the crash, but they say the children's mother did not have a stop sign, so they would have the right of way.

There is no evidence of alcohol or drugs at this point, but police say the driver who allegedly ran the stop sign could face vehicular manslaughter charges.

If you would like to make a donation to the family two accounts have been made in their name. Donations made to either one of these accounts will help the family with funeral expenses.

Esmerelda Tafoya-Saucedo Memorial Fund

Saucedo family funeral expense donations


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