4 Members of Pomona Family, Including Pregnant Mom and 2 Kids, ID’d as Victims of Merced Co. Crash
The Merced County coroner’s office on Wednesday released the names of four members of a Pomona family who were killed in a solo-vehicle crash over Memorial Day Weekend on their way home.
Samuel Soto, 40, Alondra Lara Montes, 22, Nicolas Soto, 9 and Diego Soto, 2, all died after their vehicle slammed into a tree along State Route 152 west of Los Banos around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, authorities said.
Soto was behind the wheel of a 2017 Nissan Altima that was headed eastbound on the 152 near State Route 33 when he apparently lost control of the vehicle, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.
The car began swerving from side to side, eventually crossing over a grass and dirt median into westbound lanes, the release stated.
It then crashed into a tree, killing all four occupants.
Three of the victims were properly restrained in the car, according to CHP. Montes, who was pregnant, was not wearing a seat belt.
The deadly collision was witnessed by the woman’s parents and siblings, who were in another vehicle behind them at the time, according to a GoFundMe account set up to pay for the funerals.
Soto was the father of both children, and Montes was the mother of the youngest boy, relatives said. The couple was expecting another child.
It was not immediately clear what caused him to lose control of the car. Alcohol or drugs did not appear to play a role in the crash, and weather conditions also weren’t a factor, according to CHP.
The crash remains under investigation.