Visalia woman still fighting for her life after weekend wreck with 18-year-old DUI suspect


A Visalia woman was still fighting for her life Monday, after police said a Lamborghini driven by an 18-year-old DUI suspect crashed into her Saturday.

It happened near Walnut Ave and Court Street.

Family and friends said the victim, 26-year-old Stephane Rodriguez, was put in a medically induced coma.

“Stephanie is everything. She’s crazy, cheery, spontaneous,” mother Laura Cervantez said. “Fear, a lot of fear. I know she’s going to pull through.”

Rodriguez was being driven by boyfriend Alonzo Prado Saturday night — at the same time police said 18-year-old Mark Verdugo was speeding away from a traffic stop in a Lamborghini. They said he was under the influence when he slammed into two cars.

Friends of Rodriguez said they hope this will be his wake up call.

“Ultimately you’re the one who has to pay the price whether it’s good or bad you have to suffer the consequences, and unfortunately Stephane is suffering the consequences of somebody else’s very poor choices,” Sara Rubalcaba a friend and coworker said.

Prado and the other driver suffered minor injuries. Rodriguez’ were severe. She has been in critical condition at Kaweah Delta Medical Center since the crash.

“She’s fighting. She’s hanging on. They have her under medication. She’s paralyzed right now to help the brain swelling,” Rubalcaba said.

Cervantez said she’s able to forgive the driver because she knows her daughter will be OK.

“She’s strong. She’s my daughter and I know she’s going to walk out of that room,” Cervantez said.

If she survives, family and friends said Rodriguez has a long road ahead. Rubalcaba has set up a GoFundMe for anyone who would like to help:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383

Don’t Miss

Sunday Service
Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know