Three small girls are in the hospital in serious condition Wednesday after a crash the night before left both their parents dead, officials and family members said.
The driver of the other car faces DUI and murder charges, but has not been officially booked yet and remains at the hospital under police supervision, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. She was the only person in the vehicle, a Range Rover, and has not been identified by authorities.
About 7:45 p.m. Tuesday officers responded to the area of South Pelican Hill Road and Newport Coast Drive, where a Nissan and the Range Rover had collided, said Newport Beach Police Department spokesperson Heather Rangel.
The Nissan was carrying the three children, ages 1, 4 and 5, along with the two adults who died at the scene, officials said.
The deceased have been identified as 28-year-old Gabriela Andrade, a passenger, and 27-year-old Henrry Saldana-Mejia, who was the driver, according to a coroner’s report.
Authorities were not yet releasing information on the relationship between the children and the deceased adults, but family members told KTLA that the two were husband and wife, and the parents of the three young girls in the car.
Loves ones said the family of five was going to pick up a paycheck, while a GoFundMe page created for funeral expenses said the couple and their children were looking at Christmas lights. Another GoFundMe page was also set up for the girls’ future expenses.
The DA’s office said they expect to charge the driver of the Range Rover on Thursday, adding that she can be formally arraigned at the hospital as long as she is conscious.