2 Torrance students among 3 killed in Santa Barbara crash

A crash on the 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara has left three people dead, including two students from a Torrance high school.
April 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two high school students from Torrance are among three people killed in a crash on the 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara. A fourth person was critically injured.

The accident happened around 12:45 a.m. Monday on the 101 Freeway near Castillo Street. The California Highway Patrol says a 2005 red Mazda was traveling southbound when the driver veered to the right and hit a section of the guardrail. The impact caused the car to overturn and block the #2 lane.

The CHP says seconds later, the driver of a 2013 white Ford Mustang hit the overturned vehicle, causing two people in the Mazda to be ejected.

The driver of the Ford, 52-year-old Kimberly Ann Kreis, was arrested for DUI and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail Facility, according to investigators.

The three people killed in the crash were identified by the CHP as 20-year-old Brian Adonay Lopez, 17-year-old Danielle Nicole Murillo and 17-year-old Jessica Leffew. The two girls were seniors at North High School, according to Torrance Unified School District officials. Erick Hoel August, 20, was in critical condition at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Manuel Murillo said his daughter, her best friend and their boyfriends were driving back from a concert in Santa Maria when the accident occurred.

"I guess the driver - her boyfriend - fell asleep at the wheel, hit the center divider, flipped over, and then another person hit him," said Murillo.

He said his daughter was a great athlete. She and Leffew were popular students at North High School.

"We are devastated that such a beautiful person was taken from us at such a young age," said Murillo. "She was just vibrant, always had a smile on her face. She had a great attitude toward everything."

Tammy Kahn, a representative for Torrance Unified School District, says students at the high school were notified Monday morning. A crisis management team was called in to speak with parents and students.

North High School is planning to hold a memorial for the two teens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.


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