A father and his two youngest children have been identified as the victims killed in a fiery crash that police say was caused by a suspected DUI driver in San Bernardino the day after Thanksgiving.
The five family members were in a Toyota Camry last Friday around 11:45 p.m., when their car was broadsided in the intersection of Kendall Drive and University Parkway by a Ford Mustang that ran a red light, according to the San Bernardino Police Department.
The Camry burst into flames after the crash, police reported.
A father of four — described by police as a 31-year-old man from Bakersfield — was behind the wheel of the Toyota and died at the scene. Witnesses were unable to get him out of the wrecked vehicle, but the kids were all pulled out of the car and rushed to a hospital for treatment.
The man’s two youngest children, a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, succumbed to their injuries the following day.
Another child suffered severe injuries, while the fourth child had moderate injuries, according to police. Relatives said the two children learned on Sunday that their father, brother and sister did not survive.
The collision happened as the family headed home, just minutes after they had left the residence of the man’s mother and father in San Bernardino, according to a GoFundMe account set up to help pay funeral costs.
The fundraising page identified the father as Tavea Tarlton, and the two children killed as 4-year-old Eliza and 2-year-old Farrow.
“It just hurts, you know, knowing that you’re not going to be able to hug them, not going to be able to kiss them anymore,” said Kiya McClenton, the victims’ cousin. “I know even though they might not be here physically, but spiritually, they still are.”
The injured children — 8-year-old Dallas and 5-year-old Khamyil — remain hospitalized, according to the GoFundMe.
Investigators believe that alcohol and speed played a role in the crash. They arrested the driver, 23-year-old Brandon Jaquez-Perez of Bloomington, and booked him on suspicion of DUI and gross-vehicular manslaughter, according to inmate records. His bail was set at $250,000.
McClenton told KTLA that the family can’t understand how anyone could get behind the wheel intoxicated and they want everyone to know there are real consequences of drinking and driving.
“Don’t, don’t drive under the influence. It’s not worth ruining your life. It’s not worth ruining other people’s lives, cause this could’ve been avoided,” she said.