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A British tourist on his way to visit Yosemite with his family ran a stop sign and plowed into a minivan, killing two sisters, the California Highway Patrol said.
Troopers said Agnelo Dsouza, 55, was headed northbound on a rural road near Chowchilla shortly after 6 p.m. Monday when the Toyota RAV4 drove through the stop at 55 mph. The collision propelled the Saturn minivan the sisters were riding in into a power pole.
The dead were identified as Martina Gudino Vargas, 50, and Gregoria Gudino Vargas, 45. According to ABC 30, they raised their families on the same property in Chowchilla about a mile away from the crash and were described as inseparable.
A passenger in the van, Yesena Gudino, was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. The driver of the Saturn, Angel Diaz, 47, also suffered major injuries, but he was able to extricate himself from the vehicle.
Dsouza and his wife, Cheryl, also were airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries. Their sons Brandon, 26, and Nigel, 22, were injured as well, but their conditions are not known.
A friend of the family, Guadalupe Chavez Torres, got a call from Diaz and rushed to the scene.
“When I go that way, I see the guy is crying and I see the van pretty bad. Pretty bad,” he told ABC 30.
According to the news station, Gregoria Vargas’ daughter gave birth to a baby girl in Fresno earlier in the day. She had planned to meet her new granddaughter that night, but never made it.
CHP said they are not sure why Dsouza failed to heed the stop sign, but are still investigating the incident. Troopers said neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor.
Chowchilla is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Yosemite.
Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Yosemite-tourists-car-runs-stop-sign-kills-2-14368322.php.