Friends and family gathered Monday in Winnetka where a suspected DUI crash left two teenage brothers dead over the weekend.
The siblings, 16-year-old Louis Perez and 19-year-old Cesar Perez, were passengers in a Chevy truck when the driver drove into oncoming traffic, lost control and slammed into two parked vehicles in the 20600 block of Parthenia Street around 1 a.m. Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The teens were pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver, 20-year-old Pablo Roman Trujillo Carrasco, was hospitalized after complaining of pain, Sgt. Kurt Smith said. Officials believe Carrasco was driving under the influence and arrested him on suspicion of murder after his release from the hospital, Smith said. No other people were injured.
Carrasco is being held at a Van Nuys jail with bail set at $4,000,000.
The driver’s relationship with the brothers is unclear, but police said the group had just come from a quinceañera when the crash happened.
Louis and Cesar both attended Canoga Park High School and were members of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley. Cesar went on to attend Pierce College, friends said.
According to a GoFundMe page that’s raising money for their family, Cesar was helping their mother raise his six siblings and paid for most of the family’s expenses.
Principal Robert Garcia at Canoga Park High School shared the GoFundMe page on Facebook Sunday, noting that grief counselors would be on campus to offer support.
The president of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley also urged anyone who can to help and extended his condolences to the siblings’ family, friends and the staffers and volunteers who worked with them.
On Monday, grieving loved ones left flowers and candles on the street where the incident took place.
Gabriel Montenegro, one of the victims’ friends, said the driver may not have intended for the crash to happen but that “everyone’s got to be responsible for their decisions.”
Another one of the victims’ friends, Gilmer Gomez, said, “That’s how life works. You see someone, and they’re gone the next day.”