Alcohol or drugs appeared to be a factor in a late-night crash that killed a woman and a girl in Perris, officials said Tuesday.
The incident happened near the intersection of Perris Boulevard and Ramona Expressway around 10 p.m. Monday, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The driver of a Mercedes-Benz heading south on Perris Boulevard ran a red light, crashing into a Dodge Durango traveling west on Ramona Expressway, officials said.
The Durango then hit a Honda Accord, the driver of which was waiting to turn onto Perris Boulevard, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Two occupants inside the Durango, a 75-year-old woman and an 8-year-old girl, suffered major injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The drivers of the Mercedes-Benz and the other vehicles had minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials did not disclose the total number of people involved in the incident, nor what led them to believe DUI was a factor and whether an arrest was made. They also did not identify those involved or the relationship between the victims.
Family and friends identified the victims as 8-year-old Dannalee Evans and her 75-year-old grandmother, Feliciana Martines.
Evans’ mother, Arlene, was driving the vehicle and another child was in the car but they both survived, according to their loved ones.
Some 35 mourners gathered Wednesday night to hold a vigil in honor of the child and her grandmother.
“My heart breaks today for her. It was just a shock to know that she had passed,” Shawntee Torres, who used to babysit Evans, said at the vigil. “I’m just gonna miss her… I feel for her mom.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help raise money for medical costs and funeral expenses.
Authorities encouraged anyone who saw the collision and has not spoken to detectives to call Deputy Cail at the Perris sheriff’s station at 951-210-1068.