Corcoran woman charged with six felonies for DUI crash that killed three family members

On Sunday night, sisters Eva Lopez and Maria Rivas, along with Rivas' daughter Veronica Luna, were headed home to Northridge after visiting family in Modesto.

At around 7:30 near Pixley, they crashed head-on with a car going the wrong way on Highway 99.

All three women were killed, but the wrong-way driver, 22-year-old Brenda Garcia of Corcoran, survived.

The California Highway Patrol says she was driving drunk.

"My whole family is devastated," said Emerita Rodriguez, a relative. "Everybody...everybody is devastated. We can't even fathom what they were thinking. We're devastated and we don't even know how we're going to pay for this."

Rodriguez said her two aunts were loving people and that her cousin Veronica leaves behind children and a grandson.

She set up a GoFundMe page to help with the unexpected expenses associated with the upcoming funerals.

On Tuesday, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office filed six felony charges against Garcia, including gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence causing injury, which included special allegations of a blood alcohol content of at least .15 and great bodily injury.

"When you have the DUI part, causing injury, you can have what's called great bodily injury," said Tulare County Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos. "It seems a little strange, but death is in fact great bodily injury."
Alavezos said Garcia was arraigned on the charges in a hospital room Wednesday.

She suffered major injuries in the crash and could be in the hospital for another 45 to 60 days.

Court records show Garcia doesn't have a history of DUI's, but on Sunday, the CHP says she was so intoxicated she couldn't even explain how she got on the freeway going the wrong way.

"She just took away three very beautiful people that we loved, extremely love, and next time just think before you drink and drive," Rodriguez said.

Garcia's bail was set at $150,000.

Her next court date is set for November 9th.

The family of the three women killed has set up a Gofund me to cover funeral costs. If you would like to donate click here.
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