Stockton CHP: 3 adults, 2 kids killed in suspected DUI crash

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Five people, including two children, died late Thursday following a crash on Interstate 5 in French Camp, according to the Stockton California Highway Patrol.

“When there’s a collision like this, the impact is far reaching; there’s going to be victims everywhere,” said CHP Officer Rueben Jones. “You have the family that’s involved, but certainly the first responders who have to see it and then process this.”

Around 11 p.m. Thursday, Officer Jones says a 1997 Toyota sedan carrying five passengers was speeding northbound on 1-5, near Roth Road, when it veered off to the right. It crashed into a road sign before slamming into a tree.

“There were two children in the vehicle,” Jones explained. “We don’t know their ages or their relationship to anyone in the vehicle yet.”

According to Jones, the two children and an adult passenger who were in the backseat died at the scene. 

At the time of the crash, they were not in child safety seats nor were they wearing seatbelts. 

The front passenger and driver died at a nearby hospital, according to Jones. 

Preliminary reports suggest the male driver may have been under the influence.

“We do believe he’s a 33-year-old male from Stockton, but at this time next of kin has not been located or notified and we’re not 100% sure that we’ve identified him correctly,” Jones said. “But we’re pretty confident that speed was certainly a factor and drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in this collision.” 

While disheartened by the news, Safe Kids San Joaquin County Coalition Coordinator Rachel Zerbo said this is why they provide free car seats and installations for parents.

“So for the last five years, we have data for 65 kids under the age of 8 have been injured riding unrestrained and we’ve lost three kids to crashes when they were unrestrained or improperly restrained. Still too many,” Zerbo told FOX40. 

“It’s ugly,” Officer Jones said. “Nobody wants to see dead bodies, and certainly not children.”

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