Community raises $7,000 for family of teen killed in Fresno County DUI crash

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley community is coming together to help a family going through heartbreak.

19-year-old Olivia Mendoza's life was taken Friday night after a big rig driver accused of driving under the influence crashed into her.

RELATED: Friends, family mourn 19-year-old killed in Fresno County DUI crash

The tragedy took place in Fresno County near Mountain View and Clovis Avenues.

A memorial is now set up remembering the teen.

Friends tell us they'll never forget the bright positive young woman.

"If I ever needed her, she would have been there," says Alyssa Salinas of Caruthers.

Salinas now vows to be there for her deceased friend's family.

"My friend lost her life because someone decided to get behind the wheel when they shouldn't have," she says

According to investigators 37-year-old Andre Hill of Maryland was high on marijuana when he blew a stop sign at the intersection, taking Mendoza's life.

The tragedy devastated Salinas, but motivated her to help her friend's family.

She decided to auction off her FFA pig at the Caruthers Fair to help with funeral expenses.

"It is a weight lifted off their shoulders. I feel like they don't have to carry that burden of trying to come up with money so soon because it was such an unexpected event," she says.

Her 250-pound pig sold at $20 a pound.

After additional donations they made about $7,000.

The money is helping the Mendoza family, but it's not enough to help with the pain.

Salinas remembers her friend as a vibrant young woman who was a leader and a goofball.

They played sports together and were close friends even after Mendoza went on to college.

Salinas is now urging people to make wise decisions.

"Be smart, don't make stupid decisions because it hurts a lot of people. Someone lost their granddaughter, someone lost their daughter, and someone lost their sister - a lot of people lost their friend," she says.

Hill faces three felonies and his bail is set close to $100,000.
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