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August 6, 2012 (Otay)—Two 5-year-old girls, Giuliana Figueroa of La Mesa and Lesette Silva of Chula Vista have died after the vehicle in which they were passengers plunged into Otay Lake last night, the Medical Examiner reports.  The girls, who were wearing seatbelts,  were in the backseat of a Kia minivan driven by Arlene Hernandez.

“Due to Hernandez’s level of intoxication, she lost control of the Kia,” a statement issued by the CHP indicated.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and bystanders at the scene pulled the girls from the vehicle, which came to rest upside down fully submerged.  The driver and a male front seat passenger extricated themselves. 

Rescuers rendered aid and paramedics arriving also performed CPR, but were unable to save the children.   The victims were transported to Rady Children’s Hospital by helicopter, where the girls were pronounced dead last night.

La Mesa Patch reports that Hernandez will be charged with four felony counts, including gross vehicular manslaughter, cruelty to children leading to injury/death, and driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol resulting in bodily injury.

She is being held at Las Colinas detention facility in Santee on $400,000 bail and is slated for arraignment August 8 in the Chula Vista courthouse.

A tow truck summoned to remove the vehicle also struck another vehicle at the scene, causing minor damage, a Jamul resident who was the driver of the damaged vehicle informed ECM. 


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