PLACENTIA, Calif. (KABC) --Friends and family members gathered Sunday night at the site where a mother and her two kids were mowed down by a suspected drunk driver in Placentia.
Candles and flowers marked the spot where the crash happened in the 800 block of W. La Jolla Street. Patricia Santiago and her two daughters, 5-year-old Diana and 8-year-old Stephanie Ledezma, were crossing the street after leaving a friend's birthday party when they were hit.
Placentia police officers were in the area when they heard the crash and headed in that direction. There they found all three bodies lying in the street. Santiago and her daughters were declared dead at the scene.
"I remember seeing the little girls playing, and I can't believe it - that they're not here anymore. The mom was really loving, she was a really great lady. As you can see, she had many friends. Everybody loved her here," Ana Gutierrez said.
Children as young as 4 years old were at the vigil and tried to cope with the deaths. Citlaly Gomez, a friend of Stephanie, said she knows her friend is in a better place.
"This happens a lot to other people. I don't want this to happen to any of my family or my friends," she said. "(Stephanie's) in heaven. God is taking care of her."
The suspected drunk driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Munoz, crashed into a nearby truck after hitting the family. He remained at the scene and was arrested on suspicion of murder and driving under the influence with injury.
He is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to appear in court Tuesday.