Just one day after Thanksgiving, a family of five was struck by an alleged drunk driver, resulting in the tragic death of a father and two of his very young children. The crash occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m. in San Bernardino, California.
According to investigative reports, the family was headed home when a Mustang blew through a traffic signal and collided with their car. The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to go up in flames. The father, described by authorities as 31-year-old Tavea Tarleton, died almost instantly. Witnesses attempted to help before the first responders arrived, but they could not get him out of the wreck.
When emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene, they successfully extracted the children from the vehicle. They assessed the children’s injuries and rushed them to a nearby hospital for treatment. Sadly, the two youngest children, 2-year-old Farrow and 4-year-old Eliza, sustained injuries that were far too severe. They passed away the following day.
Investigators believe that alcohol and speed played a primary role in the cause of the accident. Following the accident, authorities arrested the 23-year-old suspect Brandon Jaquez-Perez on suspicion of DUI and gross-vehicular manslaughter. The courts set his bail at $250,000. If charged, it is possible that he can face harsher penalties.
A GoFundMe account has since been set up on behalf of the victims.
The holidays are some of the most dangerous times to travel. Because it is a time of celebration, people are more likely to bring out the alcohol and party. However, we all must be careful. It is imperative that everyone practice caution and good judgment when navigating through the holidays. Avoid driving when you’re intoxicated. The decision Jaquez-Perez made will not only change the trajectory of the surviving victims’ lives forever, but his as well.