KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif. – Seven people including four children and a baby were killed when a sport utility vehicle carrying nine ran off a Central California road and landed upside down in a canal, authorities said Sunday.
The white Ford Explorer was speeding at more than 55 mph Saturday night near Kettleman City about 50 miles south of Fresno when the driver, Sergia Olvera, 31, lost control, said Officer Joseph Miller of the California Highway Patrol.
The vehicle ran up a dirt embankment, rolled and landed upside down in the canal with 5 feet of water, Miller said.
A 23-year-old woman was able to crawl from the vehicle and had moderate injuries and a witness saved a 10-year-old girl who was trapped inside.
"I got one little girl out, and I guess she was gone," Alonzo Ceja told a reporter from On Scene Video. "I tried to get the other one that was still alive inside. I pulled her out from the back window. I had to break the window."
Killed were the driver Olvera; Oracio Flores, 32; Miguel Flores, 3; Arcelia Flores, 2; Celene Pompa, 13; Jennifer Salas, 7, and Oracio Flores Jr., 5 months old.
"There were no child seats in the vehicle, and there was no evidence that any seat belts were used," Miller said.
Survivor Dalia Olvera, 23, had moderate injuries, and 10-year-old Esmerelda Pompa was not injured, Miller said.
All of the victims were from Earlimart, about 50 miles from the site of the accident.