AZUSA (CBS/AP) — Los Angeles County coroner’s officials have identified a young boy and girl who died when the SUV they were in careened off the side of an Azusa canyon road and plunged 40 feet.
Coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz says 12-year-old Andrea Caliz Martinez and 8-year-old Christopher Caliz Martinez were killed when the vehicle driven by their father went over an embankment Saturday night in the hills above Azusa. According to cousin Daunte Caliz, the family had gone to celebrate Andrea’s 12th birthday that day.
“All of our family was really close. Just hearing that they passed away was really tragic for all of us,” he said.
The driver, 31-year-old Arcadio Caliz, his wife, 32-year-old Marbella Martinez, and their 13-year-old daughter, Marista, were found alive outside the car and all three were hospitalized.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, but Azusa police say a preliminary investigation at the accident scene showed evidence the vehicle may have been speeding just before the collision.
Alcohol is also believed to be a factor in the crash. Arcadio Caliz, who is an unlicensed driver, was cooperative with officers and consented to providing a blood sample, Azusa police said.A toxicology test to confirm whether drugs or alcohol were a factor is pending.
Daunte Caliz said his uncle is distraught over his children’s deaths.
“He didn’t want to eat because he was, like, trying to blame himself and stuff of what happened,” Daunte Caliz said.
No arrests have been made.
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