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Family and Friends Defend Father Accused of Deadly DUI

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The father charged with DUI after an accident that killed three of his children is out of jail, but he's not out of the woods.

The Madera County district attorney is considering eight felony charges against Aref Mohamed, including three counts of vehicular manslaughter.

Family members say visions of this crash are haunting Mohamed. They say he's not eating and he won't stop crying.

The father of six saw three of his children die and a little while later, he was in cuffs, accused of causing their deaths.

"He's victimized twice by losing his kids and also being charged," said family friend Ali Mohamed.

CHP officers think Mohamed was under the influence of a controlled substance when he swerved into oncoming traffic near Firebaugh. They've sent a blood test for analysis, but Mohamed's friends say it'll show he was clean.

"He's a healthy person," said Ali Mohamed. "Never have I seen him drink or even mention alcohol."

The deaths made a dreary day even more difficult at Bailey Primary School in Firebaugh.

The school brought in grief counselors Wednesday and teachers are planning memorials for the twin 6-year-old boys, Ahmed and Gahassan. Their 3-year-old sister Fatima also died in the accident.

The CHP says none of them were wearing seat belts.

All of them leave behind memories that have turned from playful to painful.

"We were just playing with the kids," said Ali Mohamed. "Another friend of mine was fighting specifically with the three kids and that just shocked me, you know."

After posting a $100,000 bail, Mohamed returned to Firebaugh, where family and friends are keeping a watch over him as he's forced to relive his own painful memories.

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