Children of couple killed in crash find forgiveness for suspected drunk driver

Vince Ybarra Image
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Children of couple killed in Fresno County crash find forgiveness for suspected drunk driver
A family's pain has now doubled with the loss of their father and mother in a suspected DUI crash in Fresno County.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A family's pain has now doubled with the loss of their father and mother in a suspected DUI crash in Fresno County.

"That was a special gift that not many couples get to be able to go together. And mom and dad were out here sharing a message of love and hope," said Anna Nielsen, the daughter of Paul and Mary Hardin.

Through tears, Nielsen shared how her family is finding peace after a tragic car crash on Saturday.

Their mother died at the scene, and their father was hospitalized in critical condition.

Four of the Hardin's ten children say they had to make the heart wrenching decision to take him off life support on Monday.

"They were incredible, and they were always trying to be better. And we were the very blessed recipient of their love," said Nielsen.

The California Highway Patrol says 54-year-old David Alvarado was driving under the influence when his pickup truck slammed into the Hardin's Nissan car and a Camaro when they were sitting at a stoplight on Highway 41 and Manning Ave.

Alvarado and the driver of the Camaro were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Action News has uncovered Alvarado's lengthy history of driving under the influence.

He was previously convicted on six occasions - for offenses in 1997, 2005, 2016, two in 2019, and 2021.

In July 2023, he had to wear a leg device to make sure he wasn't drinking and driving but authorities say that only lasted 120 days.

Now he's facing eight new charges, including two counts of murder, and two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while impaired with prior convictions.

"I think the overwhelming feeling amongst our sibling group is just try to have it in our hearts to forgive. And I think that's where we're getting to because that's what mom and dad would've wanted. They would've been the first to forgive him," said Nielsen.

The Hardin's' children say they are overwhelmed with people offering support during this difficult time. They add it's a true testament to how giving their parents were to others. Always offering support to people in need.

"Their life's mission, their life's work. I feel like they completed everything they came here to do," said their son Ammon Hardin.

The family invites the community to celebrate their parents lives on at 6pm on May 22 at 6 pm at The Church for Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Caruthers.

Alvarado is expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday.

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