Alcohol was a factor in triple fatal crash in Fresno County
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Friends and neighbors gather to support the families of three people who died in a Fresno County car crash. And investigators said alcohol played a role in the deadly collision.
Three people died in that crash and one person is still in serious condition. 18-year-old Jessi Bautista of Fresno and her boyfriend, 19-year-old Javier Gomez-Benitez were passengers. 20-year-old Blanca Gutirrez also died.
The crash happened Wednesday afternoon at Fig and American. When those cars collided in Wednesday's impact they were sent spinning into this field right here. Earlier Thursday the father of the two Gomez-Benitez boys came here to see all this damage for himself.
This is the first time Refugio Benitez has seen where his son Javier died. "You have one son. Somebody kill you, kill your son. It's terrible. You can't explain," he said.
Investigators said Javier's 20-year-old brother Orlando Gomez-Benitez was intoxicated behind the wheel of this red Pontiac and was the only person wearing a seatbelt. He drove into this Honda after failing to stop at this intersection Wednesday.
Both cars ended up in this field. The two people in the Honda walked away. 18-year-old Jessi Bautista, her boyfriend 19-year-old Javier Benitez-Gomez along with 20-year old Blanca Gutirrez were ejected from the car and died.
"Momma just took off running and hollering. She said, 'My son died.' I understood that so clear. She said that so clear. And she just grabbed me and hugged me," said resident Lula Tucker.
Tucker said despite language differences she was close neighbors with Benitez-Gomez's mother. She was surprised to hear alcohol was involved.
Tucker: "I never witnessed that. I have to tell you that on my behalf. I never suspected them of that."
Benitez-Gomez and his girlfriend Bautista planned to get married ... they leave behind a two-year-old son named Jose.
Jose's aunt said Bautista started a journal for her son after her close friend Vanessa Gonzales died in last month's Greyhound bus crash. Gonzales was riding in the SUV that crashed and was struck by the bus. Investigators said alcohol was a factor in that collision too.
"She had a feeling she was going ... something was going to happen to her," said Crystal Gomez-Benitez.
Both brothers had plans to enter Fresno City College this Fall. Two-year-old Jose is staying with his grandmother.
Orlando Gomez-Benitez is in serious condition at Community Regional Medical Center. Once he recovers he will face felony D.U.I. charges.
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