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L.A. man arrested for Halloween hit-and-run that killed 3 teens trick-or-treating

  • Mourners gather at the street-side memorial at North Jacaranda Street and Fairhaven Avenue in Santa Ana, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 for three teenage trick-or-treaters killed in a Friday night hit-and-run accident. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Ken Steinhardt)

    Mourners gather at the street-side memorial at North Jacaranda Street and Fairhaven Avenue in Santa Ana, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 for three teenage trick-or-treaters killed in a Friday night hit-and-run accident. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Ken Steinhardt)

A 31-year-old man was behind bars today in connection with a Halloween hit-and-run crash that killed three 13-year-old girls who were trick-or-treating in Santa Ana.

Jaquinn Ramone Bell was arrested at a motel in Stanton, according to Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas. Two other adults were also arrested at the motel, and two children were taken into protective custody, but the adults and children were later released, Rojas said.

Bell was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run causing death.

Rojas said Bell is believed to have been driving the black Honda CRV that struck the girls, and two children - aged 17 and 14 - were in the vehicle with him. Bell did not own the vehicle, but it "belonged to someone who was associated with Mr. Bell,'' Rojas said.

The victims - identified by the Orange County coroner's office as Andrea Gonzalez and twin sisters Lexandra Perez and Lexi Perez, all from Santa Ana - were in costume and in a crosswalk when they were struck in the 1400 block of East Fairhaven Avenue near Jacaranda Street around 6:45 p.m. Friday.

The driver of the westbound SUV that hit them fled.

All three girls were pronounced dead at the scene, where a makeshift memorial continued to grow over the weekend.

The vehicle, a Honda CRV, was found in a nearby parking lot with extensive damage to the front end, police said.

The mother of Andrea Gonzalez told news media outlets in Spanish, "They took my little girl away. They took my princess.''

Andrea's brother, Josafat Gonzalez, reacted this way to the arrests: "The people who did this just left them there. As if they were nothing. They're finally in custody. They have to answer to justice. That brings a sigh of relief. Not just to my parents, or to the twins' family but to the whole community.''

The death of the three girls was one of two Halloween tragedies in Orange County. A 65-year-old man was fatally struck by a vehicle and his 4-year-old son was critically injured in the 100 block of West Yale Loop in Irvine around 7:10 p.m. Friday, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi. The boy was trick-or-treating in a Captain America costume, he said.

Paramedics rushed John Alcorn to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead at 8:36 p.m. Friday, according to the Coroner's Office.

The female driver of the vehicle, a Mazda 3, stopped at the scene and was not facing charges, according to Irvine police.

For more, go to MyFoxLA.com.

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