STOCKTON (CBS13) — An 84-year-old woman has died after the car she was riding in was struck by a DUI suspect near Stockton late Sunday night.
The crash happened a little after 8:45 p.m. along the 700 block of S. Gertrude Ave. in a residential neighborhood just east of Stockton city limits.
California Highway Patrol says a pickup truck was apparently speeding along S. Gertrude Ave. when it failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Horner Avenue and ran into the passenger side of an SUV.
Two Stockton residents were inside the SUV, an 81-year-old man who was driving and an 84-year-old woman. The driver suffered major injuries while the passenger was killed in the crash, officers say.
"It was wreckage, all wreckage, it was terrible, terrible, terrible. I never want to see nothing like that again," explained witness, Chris Reemers.
Reemers lives nearby and tried to help the man who was ejected out of the car.
"I ran over here and prayed with him," he said. "They (suspect's vehicle) were in a bigger truck and they just mangled the car and mangled that family and I just want to pray for them all," Reemers explained.
According, to neighbors the force of the impact was so strong, it split parts of the victim's vehicle in half and sent it into a nearby home. The gas tank of the car and other pieces including the bumper crashed into Cheresa home with her two young children inside.
"I heard a screech and a pop and before I could even stand up I felt glass all over us and I jumped on my kids," she explained.
Cheresa was in the front room with her one and four year old when metal from the victims car crashed into the front of the house.
"I tried to scream and nothing came out, it just paralyzed me," she said.
After the crash, the pickup's driver, 25-year-old Juan Contreras Cabrera of Sacramento, and a passenger got out and ran, say authorities. A group of neighbors including Reemers ran after the men. Both were later located by officers.
Neighbors lined the street with candles Monday to honor the two victims.
" I'm hoping that she is resting in peace, I'm praying for her," explained Cheresa. "I hope he gets put away for a long time," she said.
Cabrera is now facing charges of felony hit and run resulting in injury or death, DUI causing bodily injury, and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. His bail is set at $1.6 million.
Officers noted that the DUI charge is believed to have been from drugs.
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