SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday at two Orange County churches to honor three 13-year-old trick-or-treaters killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Pallbearers dressed in white delivered the matching white-and-gold caskets of twin sisters Lexi and Lexandra Perez to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Ana for their traditional Catholic funeral.
"They were always happy. They were always together," a family friend who gave only her first name Ruth told KNX-AM outside the church.
A few miles away at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, Andrea Gonzales was mourned in a similar ceremony.
"It was hard, man," Andrea's friend Jorge Jaramillo told KABC-TV through tears after the funeral. "She was a loving and caring person. It's tough."
The girls were crossing a street in a marked crosswalk near a school in Santa Ana when they were struck by a black Honda SUV that left the scene without stopping, police said.
Authorities said Jaquinn Bell, 31, fled with his two teenage children after ditching the damaged car in a nearby parking lot. He was arrested on Sunday at a motel in the city of Stanton.
On Tuesday, Bell was charged with three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of hit-and-run with permanent injury or death, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, the Orange County district attorney's office said.