FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A three-car crash that claimed the lives of four people and hospitalized three others over the weekend started with high-speed racing down the streets of Fresno, according to police.
Officers say the suspect, 18-year-old Irvin Villarreal, also died when he ran a red light and crashed into the victims’ vehicles. It happened Saturday around 11:40 p.m., on Bullard and Palm avenues.
Investigators say Villarreal was going at least 100 mph when he smashed into a compact car and a white truck. Among those killed was 17-year-old Allison Chang.
“Allie was a beautiful soul,” said Choua Yang, Allison’s aunt.
Chang’s family gathered at the crash site, where she and her two cousins also lost their lives.
“She was the only daughter of her family, it breaks my heart as an aunt that we’re never going to be able to plan a wedding, she was supposed to graduate this year,” Yang said.
Police say, prior to the crash, Villarreal was driving a black Mustang and racing another car down Blackstone Avenue.
They say a motorcycle officer pulled over the car Villarreal was racing, but video shows Villarreal did not stop when they tried to pull him over too.
Video shows the officer went after Villarreal but lost track of him when Villarreal turned onto Bullard. About two minutes later, surveillance video shows the moment Villarreal blew through the red light and into the victims’ vehicles.
“The day after Christmas, having three people, three innocent people killed is just wrong,” said Fresno City Councilmember Mike Karbassi.
As well as 17-year-old Allison Chang, those killed inside the truck were Allison’s cousins 21-year-old Linda Chang and 27-year-old Christopher Vang. Two others remain in the hospital, as well as the driver of the compact car.
“People need to know when they get behind a car like this, a car can be used as a weapon and that’s what happened,” said Choua Yang. “It took my niece away.”