2 young brothers killed in high-speed street racing crash in California

MEAD VALLEY, California -- A family is in mourning after two young brothers were killed when police say a speeding car struck their brother's vehicle head-on.

The Riverside County Coroner's Office identified the victims as 6-year-old Dominic Gonzalez and 8-year-old Antonio "Tony" Gonzalez.

The head-on crash happened early Tuesday evening in the town of Mead Valley, according to the California Highway Patrol. The boys were pronounced dead at the scene and their older brother, who was driving a Nissan Versa, was hospitalized. He was later released.

The driver of the other vehicle, a Honda Accord, suffered moderate injuries and was also transported to a hospital. That motorist was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

The second street-racing suspect, who was behind the wheel of a black 2005 Nissan Altima, stopped momentarily before driving away from the crash site.

According to the CHP, the race began shortly after the two suspects stopped alongside each other at an intersection around 5:39 p.m. The drivers gunned their engines and sped toward a crest in the road; one of them was on the wrong side of the street and could not see the victims' oncoming car until it was too late, investigators said.

The front ends of the Versa and Honda were severely mangled upon impact.

After the collision, the innocent driver was seen crying on the side of the road as family members tried to console him. Relatives said he and his two younger brothers had been on their way to pick up two sisters from an after-school program.

Mourners on Wednesday added to a makeshift memorial at the scene, where grieving members of the Gonzalez family were joined by Pastor Israel Carlos.

"They're a Christian family," Carlos said. "They were great kids, just 6 and 8 years old.

"They're just a great family, from Guatemala, originally," the pastor added. "They're very heartbroken, as you can imagine. They're just asking for prayers, support from the community. In the days ahead it's going to be extremely difficult."

A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for the boys' funerals.
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