MEAD VALLEY (CBSLA) — Two brothers have been formally identified as the victims of a deadly street racing crash in Mead Valley Tuesday night.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the victims, 6-year-old Dominick Gonzalez and 8-year-old Antonio Gonzalez of Perris, were sitting in the backseat of a Nissan Versa when a car driving on the wrong side of the road crashed into the victim’s vehicle head-on.
Officials say the two young victims were taken to a nearby hospital where they later died from their injuries. The boys’ older brother, Luis Gonzalez, was driving the car and sustained minor to moderate injuries. He had reportedly just picked his little brothers up from an after-school program.
Detectives say because of an odd crest in the street, Luis couldn’t see the two cars racing towards them until it was too late. Detectives believe all three were the innocent victims of a street race.
The street race, which happened at around 5:30 p.m. on the 21000 block of Oakwood Street near Old Elsinore Road, involved a blue Honda Accord and a black Nissan Altima.
The driver of the racing Honda, identified as 27-year-old Richard Zuniga, was taken into custody and booked on suspicion of two counts of murder.
A woman who lives near the scene of the collision called the area a blind spot.
“I really don’t come down this street because of that blind spot,” said Rachele Kelly. She said the neighborhood won’t feel safe until the driver of the vehicle that fled the scene is caught.
“Being that they’re still out there, it’s still a problem because no one knows who they are,” said Kelly.
“We are going to do our part to file the highest charges that we can,” said CHP Officer Dan Olivas.
Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the driver of the black Nissan Altima, who fled the scene. The vehicle is possibly a 2005 model.
At vigil for the boys Wednesday, grief-stricken friends and family mourned the boys, but aired their frustration over their senseless deaths.
“They’re sweet little boys and that they had their whole lives ahead of them, and they should’ve lived longer,” their sister Lola told CBS2. “I think there should be justice for what happened. It wasn’t fair that they had no fault whatsoever.”
The family is originally from Guatemala and said they are considering taking the boys’ bodies back home.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family to help with funeral costs for the two young brothers. For more information about the GoFundMe page, click here.
Police urge anyone with information regarding the incident is to call CHP at (951) 637-8000.