Five family members die in Northwest Lubbock accident - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/6/09

Five family members die in Northwest Lubbock accident

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LUBBOCK, TX. (KCBD) - In a two car collision in Northwest Lubbock Friday, five members of one family died, including three young children. 

The Department of Public Safety tells NewsChannel 11 the five who were killed were all riding in a white Chevy Impala. Rita Gutierrez, 24, Guadalupe Salinas, 31, Fabian Sanchez, 8, Xavier Sanchez, 10, and Isaac Gutierrez, 7, were all pronounced dead at the scene. The two drivers, Jean Green, 76, of Olton and Josie Gutierrez, 30, are in critical condition at University Medical Center.

DPS troopers say a blue SUV and white car collided at the intersection of FM 2641 and CR 1700 just after 4 p.m. Friday. "I'll never forget it. It was very loud it sounded like something exploding," says witness Cheri Bradford. Bradford and her family live at the intersection FM 2641 and CR 1700.

Cheri says the sound sent her and her son outside. "I saw the two cars collided and then all the dirt, it just flew up everywhere," says Bradford's son, Cole. 

Cole says he ran to call 911 then went to see what he could do to help. When he arrived at the scene, Cole says he saw something in the back of this Chevy Impala he wishes no child should ever see. "There was an older brother holding his younger brother, I mean just right across in his lap," said Cole.

Department of Public Safety Corporal John Gonzalez says the six people heading eastbound in the Impala on FM 2641 were all family. Meanwhile, he says, a blue Chevy Trailblazer was headed north on County Road 1700. It's a road with a 60 mile per hour speed limit and a stop sign at the intersection.

The crash sent the Impala into a nearby field. An adult man and child were ejected from the car. Gonzalez says two other children and an older woman were left inside. "It's very heartbreaking to see the people trapped inside the vehicle. They're deceased and it takes a lot of time to be cautions in taking them out," says Gonzalez.

Gonzales says while the accident is still under investigation, it's possible the Trailblazer may have not have stopped at the stop sign. "Failure to yield right of away, especially in these secluded areas in the county, is very common," adds Gonzalez.

Something Cheri says is true of this intersection. "This is probably the fifth one that we have witnessed and by far the worst. If there would be a light there if someone would do something about that you know that kid could be someone someday," says Bradford.

The DPS helicopter was also out at the scene Friday afternoon. We're told pilots took aerial pictures to help investigators piece together what caused this tragic accident.

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