A man is facing murder charges after allegedly driving his family into the path of an oncoming semi truck on purpose.
The accident happened on Thursday, August 12th in Encino, California.
According to NBC Los Angeles, 31-year-old Cesar Iban Torres was driving an SUV the wrong way along the 101 Freeway with the mother of his children, 25-year-old Aimee Guadalupe Garcia, and his four children ages 18 months to eight years, riding as passengers. Torres then allegedly drove head-on into an oncoming semi truck while Garcia tried to wrestle the steering wheel away from him unsuccessfully.
The force of the impact killed Garcia and caused minor injuries for the truck driver, 56-year-old Jose Garcia Lopez, who was treated on scene and released.
After the wreck, California Highway Patrol officers had to fight with Torres and ended up tasing and hog tying him in order to gain control of the situation.
Garcia’s brother, Juan Zavala, says that Torres called him several hours before the crash and made some concerning statements such as “‘If I go missing, and the boys go missing, you know who did it.”
“I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’” Zavala described.
“And he said God talked to him and said he has to give his family to God, and I’m like ‘No, what are you talking about? Come back.’”
In regards to Garcia’s struggle for control of the steering wheel, “He [the child] said, ‘Mommy saved us,’ and that broke my heart,” Zavala said.
“You are responsible for taking my sister’s life away and leaving your children without a mother and father,” Zavala said in a message to Torres. “Thank God, I’m here as a good uncle and a good older brother. I will take responsibility for my nephews because that’s what my sister wanted to do.”
There is a GoFundMe to pay for Garcia’s funeral. The campaign has raised more than $17,800 as of Monday morning.