Victims of deadly Highway 145 crash identified as graduating Tranquillity High senior and recent Fresno State grad

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Stunned friends of a Valley teen set to graduate this week still can't believe she and her baby girl are dead after a crash near Five Points Sunday night.

Fresno State graduate Adriana Romero had just received a degree in child development and died when, for unknown reasons, 18-year-old Joanna Delgado swerved into her lane and collided head-on.

The sole survivor of the crash, Delgado's 16-year-old boyfriend, is in critical condition. The two were on their way home from a weekend in Los Angeles when they were involved in the deadly crash.

Delgado's senior quote in her yearbook message is now giving chills to friends and loved ones. She wrote "I would just like to apologize to those who were unable to graduate with the class of 2017. You missed out!"

At Tranquillity High School, shocked friends remembered how she always saw the best in others - whether in their leadership class or in sports.

"She was always a leader on the field or on the court," Joanna's friend Hadley Kulbeth said. "And everyone really enjoyed when she was around because she was always one of the most positive and influential people out there."

"She was always willing to help no matter what," friend Ashley Linares added. "Even if she wasn't a part of that club or whatever. She was always there to put her hands in and try to help. So, I really loved how she was so positive all the time."

California Highway Patrol officers say Joanna was driving a Honda Civic Sunday on Highway 145 northbound near Five Points when she swerved and struck another car head-on.

"At this point, it's undetermined exactly why that driver crossed over those double yellow lines," said Victor Taylor with the CHP. "We have unknown speeds on both vehicles, and we have no indication there was any foul play or anything of that nature."

During the crash, officers say the trauma forced the baby to be born. The baby girl died Monday morning at Valley Children's Hospital. Coroner's officials are working to figure out if the impact killed Joanna instantly. It's unclear if she ever knew her baby was born due to the force of the collision.

Joanna grew up in Kerman, Tranquillity and Lemoore. Her close friends are now recalling their final memories with her and are still in disbelief that she is gone.

"We have a little slough in the back of our house, and we went out swimming by the bridge," Michaela Kirkpatrick remembered. "And we had a little bonfire after and made some smores and stuff after, so I had just seen her last week."

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Fresno State graduate Adriana Romero had just received a degree in child development and died when, for unknown reasons, 18-year-old Joanna Delgado swerved into her lane and collided head-on.

The driver of the Kia Optima has been identified as 24-year-old Adriana Romero of Five Points. Her family never thought just two weeks after celebrating her graduation from Fresno State, her life would end.

"It's been hard man," her brother-in-law Manuel Ornelas said. "How do you go from celebrating a graduation party to tears."

He says his wife's little sister was driving from their home in Selma. Just the day before, the two threw the recent grad a party.

"It was at our house on Saturday," he said. "We had fun. We had a great time. All of her friends were there, her family."

But the celebration took a turn for the worst when they got a call no one was expecting.

"We didn't find out till about 10 o'clock," Ornelas said. "A friend of her's said a car that looked like her's got into an accident and so we got dressed and came over here, and turned out it was her and it all went downhill from there."

Adriana's Kia was filled with graduation gifts when the head-on collision happened. Now instead of helping the young woman plan for her future, family members are planning her funeral.

"She was the happiest person," the family said. "You'd see just making jokes, you know. She had everything working for her. She loved kids, working with kids."

But they are remembering the person she was and helping to keep her memory alive.

"We love you, we miss you, and we're sad you couldn't stay here longer, but we will always love you," Ornelas said.

Adriana's family set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.
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