“Frankly, We Are All Numb”: Four Die After Ford Mustang Drives Into Ravine in Gilroy

Four people - including a young girl - died in a crash Tuesday night in Gilroy after the driver of a Ford Mustang hit a curb and overturned into a dried-out creek bed 20 feet below.

California Highway Patrol Officer Amy Tritenbach said  23-year-old  Anthony Imbronone III of Gilroy, the driver, was arrested on charges of DUI and vehicular manslaughter after officers smelled alcohol in his 1997 Mustang. He was released to the San Jose Regional Medical Center to be treated for "major head trauma." 

CHP Sgt. Lisa Brazil told NBC Bay Area that the driver was likely going too fast around the bend on Leavesley Road east of New Avenue about 10:40 p.m.

All four of his passengers died: A 24-year-old man in the front right passenger seat, two 18-year-old women sitting in the back, and teenage girl. The Santa Clara County Coroner identified him as Joseph Danniel Vasquez-Flemate.

The Gilroy Unified School District superintendent identified the 18-year-olds as Sara Williams, a senior at Christopher High School, and Yesenia Mendoza-Pena, a senior at Mt. Madonna Continuation High School. The third girl, who also attends Mt. Madonna, was identified by the coroner as Yolanda Ester Jimenez, 18. The CHP originally said that Jiminez was a minor.

"This is a tragic day for the district," Supt. Deborah Flores said. "Frankly, we are all numb."

Some students urged their friends to wear black to school on Thursday.

On Wednesday morning, a woman who identified herself as a cousin of one of the victims came by the crash site with a man. The two carried a yellow wreath to lay on the site.

"I'm just going to miss her smile," Jade said. " I saw her yesterday, she was so beautiful."

The four deaths come less than a week after another Christopher High School honors student was killed in a car crash.

Natalia Salcido, 15, the daughter of San Jose Fire Capt. Christopher Salcido, was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree in the 6300 block of Miller Avenue in Gilroy about 10 p.m. Saturday. Two other teens in the car weren't hurt, but Natalia suffered major trauma and died at the hospital.

Dawn LaHue Guillen, a family friend of Natalia's who set up a GoFundMe site to pay for funeral expenses, said the death  has "rocked everybody to their very core. She was a shining light on the campus."

NBC Bay Area's Gonzalo Rojas, Marianne Favro and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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