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2 teens killed in suspected DUI crashes in Valley on Super Bowl Sunday

February 14th, 2023

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two deadly DUI crashes took the lives of two teenagers over the weekend, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers say around 5:30 am Sunday, 25-year-old Erick Torres of Bakersfield was driving with three people in his truck.

He crashed at a curve in the road on Elkhorn Avenue near Jameson Avenue in Fresno County.

His passenger, identified as 16-year-old Jesus Rodriguez of Mexico, was not seat belted and was ejected from the vehicle. He died at the scene.

The two other passengers and Torres had minor injuries.

Investigators determined Torres had been drinking and arrested him for vehicular manslaughter and DUI.

Just after 6 pm on Sunday evening, a head-on collision on Avenue 15 near Road 39 1/2 left a 19-year-old Madera woman dead.

Investigators says 24 year old Lorenzo Morales-Cortes was suspected of drinking and driving.

They say he drifted into the 19-year-old driver's lane.

He had major injuries and was taken to the hospital and placed under arrest.

The CHP says this isn't his first suspected DUI.

"This particular driver had a prior DUI in Fresno that he's still dealing with," said California Highway Patrol officer Javier Ruvalcaba.

Officers say in the Madera area last year, there were 34 deadly crashes. 11 of those were DUI related.

"You can imagine, if you widen your search it's going to be much greater," Ruvalcaba said.

The Fresno Police Department held a DUI checkpoint Sunday night to watch for impaired drivers on the roadways after the Super Bowl.

Five people were arrested for suspicion of DUI.

Clovis Police were on saturation patrol for drunk and drugged drivers and arrested two people.

Law enforcement is reminding drivers that there are major consequences to their actions when they get behind the wheel.

"Drugs and alcohol and driving don't mix. If you drink don't drive and if you drive don't drink," said Ruvalcaba.

Torres was arrested and booked into jail, where he is being held on $63,000 bail.

Morales-Cortes is still being treated at the hospital for his injuries. He will be booked into jail.

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Millions Recovered for Auto Accident Victims

Drake Law Firm is an award-winning law firm that focuses exclusively on personal injury law. 

Backed by a team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff with over 100 years of combined experience, we have excelled in fighting for auto accident victims, and have recovered more than $150 million in compensation for our clients.

Drake Law Firm: Provide Auto Accident Results

Founded by Attorney Benjamin Drake, Drake Law Firm has secured notable verdicts and settlements in motor vehicle accident cases across the state of California. 

Our recent auto accident results:

  • $2.5 million: driver T-boned in an intersection accident
  • $735,000 recovery: motorist side swiped by negligent driver
  • $1 million: victim of rear-end accident
  • $2.65 million: pedestrian hit by vehicle
  • $1.23 million: motorcycle rider struck by vehicle

We fight for the maximum compensation possible. To discuss your potential auto accident lawsuit and how much it may be worth, contact us to speak with a personal injury lawyer.

We Handle All Types of Auto Accidents

Drake Law Firm represents victims who suffer losses in all types of motor vehicle accidents. Whatever your accident may involve, Drake Law Firm has the experience you need. We can help with:

  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Ride-share accidents (Uber / Lyft)
  • Crashes caused by negligent or distracted drivers
  • Multi-vehicle accidents, rear-end collisions, and intersection accidents
  • Pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcycle wrecks
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) claims
  • Passenger injuries, including public transit and bus accidents
  • Auto defects and product liability claims
  • Construction or worksite auto accidents
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