A California mother and father are dead and their three young children are hospitalized following a hit-and-run caused by an alleged drunk driver.
Henry Saldana-Mejia, 27, and his 28-year-old wife Gabriela Andrade, both of Santa Ana, were killed in the collision that took place around 7:46 p.m. in Newport Beach — about 13 miles southwest — on Tuesday, KABC reported Friday.
The couple’s three young daughters, aged 1, 4, and 5, all of whom were secured in car seats, sustained serious injuries and are now fighting to survive.
Grace Coleman, 22, suffered minor injuries and is hospitalized under supervision by police. Her Range Rover ran a red light that night and collided with the family’s Nissan.
She has been charged with two felony counts of murder for the fatal crash, as well as one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol of .08% or more causing bodily injury, as well as one felony count of hit and run with injury.
If convicted on all charges, Coleman, who was arrested in late August on suspicion of another DUI, faces 34 years and eight months to life in state prison.
Coleman’s alleged “selfish decision” was lambasted by Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
“Three young girls are orphans because of the selfish decision of a stranger,” he said. “Everyone knows how dangerous drinking and driving or using drugs and driving is, and that it is a crime.”
He added that such choices “are killing innocent people and destroying lives.”
For the August incident, Coleman was charged with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol as well as a misdemeanor of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08% of more.