August 07, 2017 05:15 PM


Two children and their grandmother were killed Friday after a man who had beer cans in his trunk crashed into them after the family pulled its car over on a California freeway because it was overheating.

Good Samaritan, Jose Prieto, was also killed when he stopped to help the family and exited his car in Fontana off the 10 Freeway at about 12:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Jesus Garcia tells PEOPLE.

Authorities say 12-year-old stepsiblings Ailyn Miguel and Isacc Briseno were seated in the backseat when 64-year-old Luis Sanchez’s white Nissan truck slammed into the children’s grandmother, Maria Rodriguez, 58, and Prieto before continuing into the Honda containing the children.

The impact smashed the entire back section of the Honda, Garcia says. “They were stopped on the right shoulder and he hit them at freeway speed,” he says, adding that the Honda’s trunk and back seat ended up in the back of the front seats.

Rodriguez and Prieto were standing outside the Honda with the children’s mother, Maria Briseno, at the time of the accident. Briseno was the sole survivor and was transported to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

“You can’t put into words,” Briseno’s cousin Rocio Ramirez told ABC News. “She’s not stable. It’s something that I think is going to take a long time for her to cope with it. It’s tough, she lost both of her kids and her mom.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Garcia says the family members were on their way to nearby San Bernardino to visit relatives when the crash occurred.

Garcia says Rodriguez had called her husband to tell him that the car had overheated and when he arrived he discovered the horrific aftermath.

“She was the love of my life,” Conrado Rivera, Rodriguez’s husband, told NBC.

Garcia says they found opened beer cans inside of Sanchez’s truck and are waiting for toxicology tests, which could take as long as one month, to determine whether he was under the influence during the crash. He has not been charged.

“He wasn’t arrested at the time so it is going to take a little bit,” says Garcia. “There were some cans in the truck but it doesn’t mean anything really. The impact was so great those cans could have been anywhere. We don’t know. It is part of the investigation.”

Garcia says Sanchez was on his way home from work when the incident occurred.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

According to a Gofundmepage, Prieto was described as someone who “was always there to help others. He was a man of God and believed in helping others in need. His love for God always showed on his face.”

Garcia says Prieto’s car, which was on the shoulder and had no passengers, was hit as well. It crossed over several lanes and hit the center divider wall, but no injuries resulted.

“It was weird nobody else got hit,” he says. “The road was packed. On Friday the 10 Freeway in this area is heavily traveled.”

You May Like