SACRAMENTO — A father is dead and a man is in custody after their two vehicles collided Saturday night in South Sacramento.
The crash happened just before 9 p.m. near the intersection of Franklin Boulevard and Idaho Drive when a Toyota SUV and a Cadillac sedan hit head-on.
“A lot of people were trying to pull (the driver) out. So, then I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to park my car. We’re going to go out there and help them,'” said Jacob Phonesavanh.
Phonesavanh told FOX40 he witnessed the accident happen and jumped out of his car to try and help.
He saw three people in the Cadillac, who police later identified as being a husband and wife with their small child. The father was trapped and unconscious behind the wheel.
“We seen a family member in the car with him too just crying, crying out loud and saying, ‘Please, get him out, get him out,'” Phonesavanh recalled. “Because and then we couldn’t get him out because he was kind of stuck in there.”
First responders arrived shortly after and pronounced him dead at the scene. The coroner’s office later identified him as 44-year-old Wilber Sermeno of Elk Grove.
The man’s wife and child sustained minor injuries and are expected to recover, according to police.
Sacramento police determined the driver of the Toyota was impaired during the collision. That man was later identified as 35-year-old Allen Vang, who has since been charged with felony driving under the influence.
“I was kind of mad and upset because drinking and driving is a big deal,” Phonesavanh said. “You got to watch what you do and others around you because a lot of people could get hurt or die and then you could lose your loved ones like that.”
“It’s very, very sad for family, loved ones, friends,” said Sacramento Police Sgt. Vance Chandler.
Chandler said the incident is yet another example that drinking and driving can have deadly consequences.
“We want to make sure that this serves as a reminder to everyone in our community that there are alternate options when you go out and you have drinks and/or utilize any kind of other prescriptions,” he told FOX40.
Franklin Boulevard is home to families with small children and father of two Joe Gallindo says he’s now going to keep a closer eye on his kids when they play outside.
“I feel bad. I don’t want it to happen to us,” Gallindo said.
“Make sure you always tell your loved ones that you love them because tomorrow is never promised,” Phonesavanh said.
The identity of the deceased driver has not been released.
The Sacramento Police Department encourages anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the dispatch center at 916-808-5471 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at 916-443-HELP (4357). Witnesses may also submit an anonymous tip using the free “P3 Tips” smartphone app. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.