Girl, 15, killed in suspected DUI wreck

March 11, 2002|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A 15-year-old Calexico girl was killed when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was involved in an accident on a county road near this city Saturday.

The driver has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The girl, Ivy Valenzuela, was pronounced dead at El Centro Regional Medical Center about four hours after the accident on Anderholt Road south of Jasper Road.

Arrested was Josue Diaz, 18, of Holtville, who was booked into the county jail on counts of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter. He remained in custody this morning with bail set at $50,000.

The accident occurred as Diaz was driving a car with four passengers south on Anderholt at what the California Highway Patrol called a high rate of speed.


Diaz was unable to negotiate a curve and lost control of the vehicle. He drove off the roadway, causing the car to roll several times.

Valenzuela was ejected from the vehicle and suffered major injuries to her upper torso and head. She was the only one in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt, according to the Highway Patrol.

Diaz, who was arrested at the scene, suffered minor injuries. He was treated at El Centro Regional before he was taken to the county jail.

Three others in vehicle suffered minor to moderate injuries.

One was a 16-year-old Calexico girl whose name was not released. She suffered scrapes and bruises and was treated at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley.

Felix Eduardo Cortez, 20, of Holtville, suffered moderate injuries, and Jose Jose Diaz Jr., 26, of Holtville, suffered minor injuries. They both were treated at Pioneers.

The case remains under investigation.

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