19-year-old arrested after car crash kills girl sleeping in apartment, police say


19-year-old Alexis Mendoza

PORTERVILLE, California (KSEE/KGPE) — The Porterville Police Department arrested a 19-year-old after they say he crashed into an apartment, killing a 13-year-old girl.

The crash happened Sunday around 3:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of west Tomah Avenue.

Police said 19-year-old Alexis Mendoza of Porterville failed to negotiate a turn because of excessive speed, traveled off of the roadway, and crashed into an apartment.

Mendoza severely injured a sleeping child, who was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center where the child died, according to police. She was identified by family as 13-year-old Cambria Soto.

Writing on GoFundMe, she is described as having a smile that would light up any room.

It is with heavy hearts to share that our dear Cambria was unexpectedly taken from us. Cambria was loved by so many had a huge heart, and beautiful smile that would light up any room.

Police said Mendoza was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. He was booked into custody of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department where he is being held on a $100,000.00 bail.

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