4 family members killed, including girl and 2 boys, in fiery rollover crash in Highland

ByLeticia Juarez and ABC7.com staff KABC logo
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
4 killed, 1 critically injured in fiery rollover crash in Highland
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Four members of the same family were killed, including two children, in a fiery rollover crash at an intersection in Highland, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

HIGHLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- Four members of the same family, including a girl and two boys, were killed in a fiery rollover crash Monday afternoon at an intersection in Highland, relatives said. An adult in a second vehicle was critically injured.

The collision occurred about 2:24 p.m. at Palm Avenue and Cypress Street, said a spokesperson for Cal Fire San Bernardino.

Deputies responded to the scene, where a gold Ford Taurus had rolled over onto its roof and caught fire after that vehicle and a silver Acura TL collided, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. A bystander's video shows the Ford engulfed in flames.

A witness told ABC7 that the driver of the Acura was attempting to turn left at the time of the impact.

Sheriff's investigators said three people in the Ford died at the location. A male occupant of that car suffered critical burns and was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died.

The driver of the Acura, which had no passengers, was also hospitalized and remained in critical condition Tuesday.

The family in the Ford was apparently on their way home from school at the time of the incident. They were identified by relatives as Juan Perez, an 83-year-old great-grandfather; Nicholas Luna, 16, who had recently become a father to a little girl; and Luna's cousins Vanessa Hermosillo, 8, and her 7-year-old brother Aiden Hermosillo.

Family members said Luna had just picked up his cousins from school and was driving them to his great grandfather's home when the crash occurred.

A family member said Aiden was active in football and Vanessa was active in cheerleading, church and gymnastics.

Eric Moses said he witnessed the violent collision and subsequent fire.

"Then the store guy, he came out with the extinguisher," Moses said. "I took it from him and ran over there. The teenager, he rolled out (of the car). I managed to extinguish him out and pull him away from the vehicle."

Loved ones and community members on Monday evening gathered at the scene, where they created a makeshift memorial and held a vigil.

"From what we were told, the car instantly went into flames," said relative Nasaria Becerra, adding that the driver died after suffering burns to 90 percent of his body. "Everybody else couldn't get out."

GoFundMe pages have been created to help pay for the deceased victims' funeral expenses.

According to family members, Vanessa's and Aiden's older brother died six months ago in a car crash.

Witnesses at the scene said a traffic light would have prevented the crash. City officials said a light is planned to be put at the intersection, but will not go up until early 2018.

An investigation into the cause of Monday's collision is ongoing.

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call Deputy Rusk or Deputy Steffler of the sheriff's Major Accident Investigation Team at (909) 477-2800.