SELMA — Two Selma teens are being mourned following a traffic collision on Monday night that took both of their lives.
Anthony Caro and Jesse Lujan, both 17, were in a car that collided with a Ford Mustang at approximately 9:30 p.m. in the city of Kingsburg.
According to the California Highway Patrol, both Caro and Lujan were riding in a 2000 Honda Civic that made a traffic stop at Bethel Avenue, which is near the intersection of Clarkson Avenue and located in southwest Kingsburg. Even though Bethel Avenue has a stop sign at the intersection, there’s no sign for Clarkson at that same spot.
The CHP says the Mustang struck the teens’ car on its left side, then fled the scene. Authorities are looking for the car’s driver, identified as 34-year-old Anthony Shepherd.
Shepherd had two passengers with him that were both injured in the crash. They were identified as Jennifer Solis, 37, and Candace Evans, 18, both of whom were treated at Community Regional Medical Center for their injuries. It is not known at this time what their injuries from the crash were, as well as the relationship they shared with Shepherd.
Authorities have not determined if Caro or Lujan was the driver of the Civic.
A candlelight vigil for the two teenage victims was expected to be held Wednesday night between 7-10 p.m. at the high school football stadium where they both played, located off of Floral and Thompson avenues in the city of Selma.
Caro was a recent Selma High School graduate who walked this past spring. He was a versatile athlete on the Selma football team after playing running back, linebacker and strong safety. He finished third on the team in rushing after compiling 467 yards during the 2010 season.
Lujan would have been a senior this upcoming school year. He was the high school’s leading scorer this past season and began playing varsity basketball during his freshman year. He started 56 career games at both the point guard and shooting guard positions for the Bears and averaged 20.3 points per game in his prep career. According to Lujan’s profile on the website berecruited.com, he listed physical education teaching and coaching as a potential major following his graduation from high school.
Mark Sutton, superintendent of the Selma Unified School District, said that he was “absolutely shocked” by the news and described both student-athletes as “great kids.”
“This is definitely a tragic loss for students, staff, the entire school district and the city of Selma,” Sutton said. “Our prayers are with their families.”