Family mourns 2 killed in separate Fresno County car crashes

A Valley family is mourning the loss of two loved ones after they were killed in separate car crashes less than a week apart.
May 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Valley family is remembering two loved ones who were killed in separate car crashes less than one week apart. Action News has learned family members of a man killed this weekend are also related to a little boy who died last weekend.

The most recent crash happened around 1 a.m. Saturday near Mountain View and Mendocino avenues in Fresno County. That's where family members said Teodoro Nunez Espinoza, 70, was killed when his car was struck by a drunk driver. He was on his way home from a raisin packing facility where he had worked for nearly 10 years.

Suleyma Sanchez is mourning the loss of her Father-In-Law, Teodoro Nunez Espinoza and nephew, Miguel Sanchez-Perez Jr., 10, after they were both killed in separate car crashes.

"Well everybody's hurt, so it's really getting to us hard," said Suleyma Sanchez, Nunez Espinoza's daughter-in-law.

Family members say the two were close. They say Nunez Espinoza treated they boy just like his five grandchildren, even though the two weren't related.

"He really loved him and so did my father-in-law," said Sanchez.

She said Nunez Espinoza was on his way home from work at National Raisin Company in Fowler early Saturday morning, when he was struck by a man driving a pickup truck; a man law enforcement officials later told her family was driving under the influence.

"He didn't deserve the way he died. He should've died peacefully and it's just wrong," said Jessie Ferro, a family friend.

It was the second tragedy to hit Sanchez family in just six days.

"It's not right that a 10-year-old boy hasn't even lived his life yet, was taken away," said Ferro.

Sanchez-Perez died last Sunday on his way to a birthday party. He was a passenger in the car driven by his aunt, when authorities say a woman driving a truck ran a stop sign near Reedley.

"It's ridiculous how she couldn't see a stop sign; it's so big, and bright, and it says stop," said Ferro.

California Highway Patrol investigators don't believe the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when she broadsided the car. But friends and family believe she should've been more aware. They're now urging all drivers to pay closer attention to their surroundings.

"I'm not going to take my anger out on that woman or that man for hitting, but I'm frustrated and I'm mad for those people to hit someone so innocent and so loveable," said Ferro.

There is no word yet on whether the driver will face any criminal charges in that crash.

In the meantime, Action News has learned a man was booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of vehicular manslaughter, but we're still waiting for word on whether it's the same man involved in the Saturday morning collision.

CHP officials said several people were in the area of the crash and are urging anyone with information to give them a call.


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