STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS13) — Three people were killed and two others were injured in two separate, but related collisions in Stanislaus County.
The crash happened just before 10 p.m. Wednesday on the Oakdale-Waterford highway near Milnes Road.READ MORE: 'I Feel Taken Advantage Of': Call Kurtis Investigates Insurance Rates Pricing People Out Of The Foothills
“All I think about is our future, so for that not to happen anymore it’s just really hard,” said the girlfriend of 21-year-old victim Jorge Flores Jr.
Juliana Delatorre visited the crash site Thursday morning wearing a promise ring she said Flores gave her on their one year anniversary as well as a necklace of his name; symbolizing their plans for the future.
“To build a house, get married, have kids,” she said.
Delatorre sobbed near a roadside memorial where Jorge Flores Junior died.
“It’s a sad day here in Stanislaus County. Last night three people lost their lives as a result of this collision,” said CHP Modesto Spokesperson Tom Olsen.
Olsen said, just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, Flores was heading southbound on the highway when for some reason, he drifted over the center line and crashed head-on with a Volkswagen Jetta with two people inside.
“It was a violent impact,” he said. “As the vehicles settled in the roadway the Camaro was partially blocking both lanes of traffic, when another vehicle, a 2015 Hyundai, was traveling northbound and actually hit that Camaro; causing two separate collisions.”
Olsen said the driver of the Hyundai, Luis Seguraaredondo of Kerman, and his passenger, Javier Napoles of Fresno, were taken to the hospital with moderate to major injuries.
The 29-year-old driver of the Jetta and his passenger, a 60-year-old Parlier woman, were declared dead at the scene.
Flores’ younger brother told CBS13 he spotted the crash as he was heading home from his girlfriend’s house and picked up his phone to warn others.
“I didn’t know my brother was involved. I just saw the accident so I recorded it on Snapchat and posted for everyone to be safe and when I got home that’s when I found out,” said Christian Flores.
He and Delatorre said Flores was on his way home from a roadside memorial just one mile away. The memorial belonged to his friend, Edgar Gonzalez, who was killed last year when he lost control of his car while racing friends.
“He was just there talking to him, hanging out,” said Delatorre. “Friends left and right around him are dying from car accidents and since he has a fast car, I’ve always worried … and he’d always talk about it with me and my family, just drive safe, drive safe.”READ MORE: WATCH: Suspect Recorded Running From Hit-And-Run Crash Scene In Sacramento
A man repairing the fence damaged by the crash said he didn’t understand what makes the road so dangerous.
“It’s not like there’s a ton of turns,” said Fidencio Rodriguez.
But said he’s frequently called out to the area to replace the barbed wire taken out by cars.
“In a year in a half I’ve fixed that fence at least five times,” he said.
Olsen admitted the road is dimly lit.
“Roadways like this are quite common in the Valley. They’re what we consider two-lane, undivided highways,” he said. “These roadways are very dark at night time. There’s no ambient lighting.”
Olsen said there have been at least five collisions on the highway in the last two years, but believes driver behavior is often to blame, including in this crash.
“A driver lost their life last night. That driver was not seat-belted. Fifty percent of the people who die on our highways are not belted and it’s something that’s easily correctable,” he said. “The CHP encourages all drivers to wear their seatbelts and if you’re a passenger in that vehicle to speak up.”
It’s a suggestion Flores’ family and friends said they’d often talked about because he owned a “fast car.”
“My biggest fear was this happening to him and there were so many conversations with him trying to prevent it,” said Delatorre.
Delatorre said she clocked Flores’ maximum speed at 94 miles per hour just moments before the crash using the Life360 Smartphone app, but wasn’t sure how accurate the information was. Officers are now looking into whether speed, drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
Olsen said his department plans to increase patrols of the highway in the upcoming days to enforce speed, seatbelt use, and distracted driving laws. He said the highway “requires drivers’ full attention” and encourages everyone to drive safe.
“As you can see there are limited shoulders, so its imperative drivers have 100% of their focus on the roadways,” he said.
In the meantime, Flores’ friends and family are remembering the Oakdale High School graduate as a caring and charismatic young man who had dreams of going back to school to become a mechanic.MORE NEWS: 'Have A Plan To Get Out': New Survey Shows Several Greater Sacramento-Area Cities Have High Fire Risk
“He was the most caring, giving person ever. He was just so loveable. Everyone loved him,” said Delatorre. “He always tried to make me laugh. I would be in a grumpy mood and he’d be like ‘I’m trying to make you smile; just trying to make you happy.'”