The Fresno Bee – November 24, 2014
A man involved in a fiery collision in which a mother and daughter died Saturday night in southeast Fresno was arrested on multiple charges, including felony driving under the influence, manslaughter and hit and run, police reported Monday.
Rafael Arce Pedroza, 31, who is also wanted on assault with a deadly weapon charges in Orange County, is in Community Regional Medical Center, where he was taken for injuries sustained in the crash at Jensen and Chestnut avenues.
Jacqueline Rivera, 40, and Aaliyah Chavez, 11, died in the collision, which took place after a driver identified as Pedroza slammed a Suzuki SUV into a Nissan Pathfinder carrying Rivera, Chavez and other family members, who were returning from a quinceañera in Del Rey.
Police say as Rivera was waiting in a northbound lane of Chestnut for the light to change, Pedroza’s Suzuki approached from the rear at a high rate of speed and collided with the Nissan and a Ford truck in the adjacent lane. The impact tore open the Nissan’s fuel tank, causing it to burst into flames. Rivera, who was driving, and Aaliyah, who was sitting in the back seat behind her mother, died in the car. Rivera’s husband, Jose Chavez, 38, who was in the right front seat, and the couple’s 17-year-old son Jose Chavez, along with the younger Jose’s 16-year-old girlfriend, Savanni Ung, were able to escape.
Police said Pedroza limped away from the crash to an apartment in the 4700 block of East Church Avenue about a half-mile north of the crash scene. A security guard followed him to an apartment. Pedroza refused to come out and a police dog was used to apprehend him. Pedroza admitted to crashing into the Nissan and fleeing. He sustained an abdominal injury requiring surgery in the collision.
Pedroza is expected to remain in CRMC for four to seven days and will then be booked into Fresno County Jail, police said.