3 Killed, Driver Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Three people from the same family died in a head-on crash with a suspected drunken driver last Friday on Highway 140 at Kniebes Road in Merced County.

The deadly crash occurred at around 11 p.m. on Oct. 13th, according to a report by ABC 30 news.

Nicholas Leyva, 67, Maria Leyva, 69, and their great-granddaughter, Celeste Leyva, just three months old, were all killed in the two-vehicle crash. They were traveling together with four other family members in a westbound Ford Expedition.

Authorities say the other driver involved was 40-year-old Robert Pimentel. He was driving a Ford Explorer SUV eastbound on Highway 140.

Police say the Ford Expedition drifted onto the shoulder of the roadway, but its driver overcorrected and traveled into opposing traffic where it hit the Expedition head-on.

The infant girl and her great grandparents all died in the crash. Meanwhile, the other four passengers from the Expedition, along with Pimentel, were all transported by ambulances to a nearby hospital with moderate to major injuries.

Police suspected Robert Pimentel was driving under the influence of alcohol and he was arrested shortly after the deadly crash.

The case remains under investigation.

Finally, there are GoFundMe accounts to help the Leyva family.

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