Family: Suspect in Visalia hit-and-run case is brother-in-law of victim

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Last Thursday morning, police say Secundino Villanueva Flores drove away from the scene after plowing into a 60-year-old man and killing him. (KFSN)

Secundino Villanueva Flores made his first court appearance Monday, following his arrest last week.

He's charged with felony hit and run, and two misdemeanors--vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license.

Last Thursday morning, police say Flores drove away from the scene after plowing into 60-year-old Francisco Mayorga, killing him. Family members say he was crossing Walnut Avenue with a walker. They also say Mayorga and Flores were family-brothers-in-law.

"He is a nice person, they're all nice people, it's tough and it's hard," said Laura Castaneda.

Castaneda's husband has connections to both Mayorga and Flores. Mayorga is his cousin, while Flores is the husband of his other cousin. Castaneda says Mayorga even lived with Flores for a period of time.

"It's also harder on the family to have to not only deal with the loss of a family member but knowing that now they're losing another family member due to the tragedy, it's just hard," Castaneda said.

Castaneda has known Flores and his wife for more than 17 years. She says he's a nice, humble man, who worked in construction. She knows he must be guilt-ridden about the crash he caused last week.

"I don't think there's any words that I could say that could possibly explain what's going through his mind," she said.

While Castaneda sympathizes with Flores, she also says the family needs help paying for Mayorga's funeral expenses, so they've set up a GoFundMe page.

Flores faces more than four years in prison if convicted of all the charges. His court date is June 21st. His bail has been set at $10,000.

Related Topics:
hit and runcrashtulare countyVisalia
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