You would think that, in the safety of your own home, you would be able to sleep in peace. Sadly, that was not the case this past Monday for a family in Porterville, CA. On Monday Nov. 2nd, 2020 at approximately 3:45 am, Cambria Soto was sleeping peacefully in her bedroom when a drunk driver crashed into her apartment. And sadly, this crash cost the young girl her life. The tragic and untimely death of 13-year-old Cambria underscores the perils of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
According to authorities, the driver identified as 19-year-old Alexis Mendoza Tapia was driving at a dangerously high speed when he lost control of his vehicle. Reports state that Tapia jumped the curb, smashed through a fence, and traveled through the entire apartment that housed Cambria and her grandmother. The impact of the crash was so severe that it even sent a bathroom toilet flying into a neighbor’s yard.
The grandmother miraculously came out of this incident unharmed. However, Cambria suffered serious injuries. A neighbor named Antonio Ramirez rushed to her side to help in any way that he could. He told a reporter that seeing her pinned underneath the wheels of the driver’s car helplessly would haunt him forever. Other residents stated that the driver attempted to crawl out of the car to escape, but they made sure he could not flee before authorities arrived.
Once emergency personnel arrived, they immediately airlifted Cambria to a nearby hospital to receive medical attention. Unfortunately, the injuries the young girl sustained from the incident were life-threatening, and she passed away several hours later. The community has since started a GoFundMe account in hopes of helping the Soto family during this tragic time.
Police arrested the teen driver and booked him into Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. He is currently being held there on a $100,000 bail. He faces serious charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving while under the influence. The investigation is still ongoing.