TULARE COUNTY, Calif. --A 10-year-old girl and her grandmother died when an alleged drunk driver crashed into them south of Tulare.
It happened Saturday night near Avenue 200 and Spacer Drive. George and Charlotte Espinosa survived the crash, but their ten-year-old daughter and her grandmother did not.
The California Highway Patrol says the family from Las Vegas was on their way from Yosemite to Porterville when their Honda Pilot was T-boned by an SUV driven by 25-year-old Cheyenne Wyllie of Exeter.
Police say Wyllie blew a stop sign and arrested her for driving drunk. She has since bailed out of jail and faces charges of felony driving under the influence and two counts of manslaughter.
"It's part of the job, we do it to the best of our abilities but it's especially hard when there are children involved, so we're working through it," said CHP Officer Steve Beal. "But it's a tough day for everyone."
"It's haunting it's horrific, it really is," said John Gong, who was driving with his wife from Porterville to Tulare when he came across the crash scene. "People were just standing there and just watching."
So Gong did what he was taught to do growing up: he helped. With Charlotte, he untangled her husband George from his seat belt. She was hysterical, the scene, completely chaotic.
"Like I said it just haunts me, you know, save my baby, save my baby, telling her husband, don't leave me, stay with me, don't leave me," Gong said.
Seeing smoke, smelling gas, and fearing the car might start on fire, Gong pulled the 10-year-old out of the car. The grandmother was already dead, and the girl was rushed to Tulare Regional Medical Center, where she later died.
Gong hopes the girl's father will survive, despite his critical injuries, and says it will take some time to heal himself.
"I won't ever forget it," Gong said. "I think it will haunt me and I will think of this little girl and that family for the rest of my life."