Mother, daughter killed in car crash near Kerman remembered

KERMAN, Calif.

Investigators say the driver, Erick Diaz, ran the stop sign at the intersection of Jensen and Goldenrod before slamming into their car. The California Highway Patrol says Diaz could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Photos showing much happier times were on display Saturday at a small memorial honoring 67-year-old Maria Ledesma and her daughter, 29-year-old Christina Ledesma. Family members remember Maria Ledesma as a fun, loving person who showed her affection through her delicious food.

"She loved to cook; every time there were functions she would cook for us, and everybody would wait for mom's food," said her son, Juan Carlos Valencia.

On Friday, the two women had three young children in the backseat and were heading to a ceremony for Margarita Valencia. She said, "I got married, and my grandmother was on her way, and she never showed up."

At first everyone thought the two were just running behind, but later they learned both passed away. Now family members are outraged after finding out from the CHP that the driver ran a stop sign.

Two of the three children in the car were kids who Christina Ledesma was babysitting. They were treated and released from a hospital. Family members say Ledesma's husband is still by their 2-year-old daughter's bedside. She's in a full body cast because she suffered broken bones.

Several car washes are planned in the coming days.

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