Crash That Killed Five People Leads Families To Demand Changes
Families on the outskirts of Riverdale, in Fresno County, are hoping to bring about changes as a result of a tragedy.
A mother and her four children were killed Saturday night at the intersection of Marks and Excelsior.
"They didn't even have a chance," says Lori Pierce, who lives just yards from the crash site.
Pierce was among those who stopped by a makeshift memorial Sunday night, to offer her prayers for those killed.
Officers say the driver of a Nissan Minivan ran a stop sign, hitting the Ford SUV that was carrying the family.
The 29-year-old mother and her children, ages 2, 3, 6, and 11 died after the SUV erupted in flames.
"It's just heartbreaking," Pierce says.
Her husband, Robert Pierce, says the impact of the crash sounded like a bomb had gone off.
"Flames were coming out 15 feet in the air," he says.
He watched as the family's father pulled up in a car, not far behind the SUV, and desperately tried to save his family.
"He was very cooperative. But just heartbroken," says Robert Pierce. "He lost his whole family in just five seconds... five seconds."
Family members also stopped by the memorial Sunday. They said there is no consoling the children's father and woman's husband.
"He's tore up. He lost all his kids. Lost his wife. It's pretty sad," says Celestino Rodriguez, who identified himself as the uncle of the victim's husband.
The Pierces say this is not the first crash at the intersection to kill someone.
"I lived here in this corner for 15 years, and there's been seven fatalities that could have been prevented," says Lori Pierce.
Now, she and her neighbors plan to gather signatures and ask local leaders for help.
"The best thing they can do for this intersection is put reflector bumps in the road," say Robert Pierce.
So far, the Fresno County coroner has not released the names of the family members.
Stay with KMPH Fox 26 News and kmph.com for updates on this story.