Relatives are grieving a mother and daughter who were killed when someone, driving 80-100 mph, hit them from behind while traveling in Rialto, California.
“This could have been prevented. My sister could have went home that day,” stated Hayley Labrada.
33-year-old Ashley Gilroy and 8-year-old Marlee Maldonado, her daughter, died after a driver struck their vehicle after speeding in his Jeep Cherokee. The mother and daughter were trapped inside of their Kia Sorento which eventually caught ablaze.
First responders and bystanders unsuccessfully tried to put the fire out, but Gilroy and her daughter couldn’t be saved.
On Monday evening, Labrada and her relatives had been desperately trying to locate the two when they hadn’t come back home.
“My brother-in-law was actually going up and down the freeways. My sister was doing the same thing, trying to look for her, checking parking lots,” Labrada added.
At some point, Rocky, Ashley’s husband, got a call from police stating that his wife and child had died.
“This is their only child…Rocky is going home to an empty home. And that’s the most heartbreaking part. All because someone decided to get behind the wheel when they were drunk and not think twice about what they were doing wrong,” the sister said.
35-year-old Paul Larios, the driver who struck them, also died. Witnesses reported seeing beer bottles close to his vehicle and there weren’t any visible skid marks on the road. However, authorities haven’t said whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.
Larios sideswiped a Chevrolet Silverado, as well. The momentum from the accident forced Gilroy’s vehicle into the back of another car. This caused a chain reaction that involved four vehicles. Two other drivers were taken to medical facilities with non-life threatening injuries.
The relatives have begged people to honor Gilroy and Maldonado by being cautious on the road and finding a sober designated driver.