What a sad story. When I was in High School four good friends and classmates died when the car they were driving went out of control and went over a cliff on highway 39 in the San Gabriel Canyon.
For many of the high school friends this will be the first time that someone close to them has died. Its a horrible feeling.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of these four kids. JD
Fontana residents are mourning the loss of four teenagers who were killed early Sunday morning in one of the worst traffic accidents in Fontana’s history.
The single-car crash claimed the lives of driver Javier Contreras, 18, and passengers Pedro Rivera, 18, Raquel Garcia, 18, and Rebecca Garcia, 16.
Contreras, Rivera, and Raquel Garcia all graduated from Fontana A.B. Miller High School last May, and Rebecca Garcia (Raquel’s sister) was currently a student at Miller.
The accident took place on Foothill Boulevard at a historic train trestle at Lime Avenue at 1:08 a.m., according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Division.
Contreras was driving a 2005 Chrysler Sebring eastbound on Foothill when the accident occurred, said Fontana Police Chief Rodney Jones during a press conference at City Hall on Monday afternoon.
“As the vehicle went under the railroad overpass, the driver lost control and veered into the westbound lane and struck a concrete bridge support,” Jones said.
The car burst into flames, badly burning the victims. Two of the victims died at the scene and two died at local hospitals.
“One independent witness reported that the car was going in excess of the posted speed limit (45 miles per hour),” Jones said. “It is unknown if alcohol was a factor in this accident. The investigation will take weeks, if not months, to complete.”
Both Jones and Fontana School Police Chief William Megenney both said that in all of their years in Fontana, they could not recall another single-car accident which claimed four lives.
At the scene of the accident, mourners placed candles and other items in memory of the victims.
Vanessa Vasquez, 18, and Bianca Tellez, 17, were saddened by the loss of their classmates.
Vasquez remembered the good times she spent with Contreras, who worked at the McDonald’s restaurant located on Citrus Avenue and Foothill.
“He was never mad. He was always making people laugh. I knew him since middle school. We always had a good time. He was like my brother,” said Vasquez while wiping her tears. “Last time I saw him was Friday night. We talked about random things, nothing in particular. We laughed … we were always laughing together.”
Tellez added that at Miller, students are collecting donations for funeral expenses and at that they are also planning a car wash.
“We are in shock. I still can’t believe this happened to them. May God comfort their families,” she said.
Marlen Arce, a student at Miller, said she was a good friend of Rebecca Garcia.
“We had three classes together,” Arce said. “She was so wonderful. When you sit down and the desk next to you is empty, it’s something that you can’t accept. Things like this shouldn’t happen to good people.”
Valerie Velazquez knew all three of the 18-year-olds who perished.
“I never thought this would happen to them,” she said. “It’s sad and unbelievable.”