California Town Mourns 8th Grade Girl Who Was Killed By Alleged Drunk Driver

The school has strung up blue ribbon and sunflowers in honor of its late student.

Sunflowers and blue sky
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The school has strung up blue ribbon and sunflowers in honor of its late student.

A crash that happened just outside of Monte Vista Avenue and Greer Road in Turlock, California, has left many family and friends in mourning. Officials have not yet identified the identity of one of the young girls who was struck by an alleged drunk driver while pulling out of a gas station parking lot with her friend, another teenager, in the car. For now, this young woman is being called “Frieda.” ABC 10 Connect News reports that the teens’ school, Dutcher Middle School, has hung up decorations in honor of the young girl.

A friend of the family, Kristin Bettencourt, spoke to reporters about what the school in doing in honor of “Frieda.”

“Freida’s friends did go out this morning, and her favorite color was light blue. So they tied light blue ribbons around Dutcher Middle School and put out her favorite sunflowers. So there are spaces out there for kids to remember her, to talk about her.”

Bettencourt also spoke about her niece, who attended school with the young woman killed in the car crash. Bettencourt expressed that she cannot even begin to imagine what Frieda’s family and friends are going through, and that it is difficult to talk with young teenagers about the crash.

“To have to tell 13- and 14-year-olds that their friend was killed and how. And it’s just so devastating that they were just doing Friday evening things, out to dinner or running errands or just our everyday normal things that we take for granted.”

The site where “Frieda” was killed during the car crash is now marked with a cross that has the name “Frieda” written on it and is covered in more sunflowers, a set of white feathery wings, and blue swirl designs. An image of the young lady is also affixed to the cross, and small notes, written on dangling yellow heart, feature words written to or about “Frieda.”

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The driver of the vehicle which allegedly struck “Frieda” and her friend has been identified by police as 21-year-old Kevin Soils Hernandez. Hernandez was found on the scene, sustaining only minor injuries after crashing his truck into a nearby carport. He was arrested on the scene of the accident for vehicular manslaughter. Hernandez was also charged with DUI causing death and serious injury.

“Frieda’s” family and friends have started a Go Fund Me account to go toward burial expenses. Their goal is $7,500, of which they have currently surpassed, reaching $19,751, thanks to 35o individuals in only four days.