Crime

Third daughter dies days after suspected drunk driving crash into house near Ceres

Accused driver in deadly Ceres crash appears in court

A Modesto man who is accused of driving drunk and killing a Ceres mother and her two little girls made his first appearance in Stanislaus Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.
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A Modesto man who is accused of driving drunk and killing a Ceres mother and her two little girls made his first appearance in Stanislaus Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.

A third young girl has died as a result of a vehicle crash into a home near Ceres that killed a mother and her two daughters earlier this month.

Authorities on Monday confirmed that 10-year-old Yoseline Vega-Jacinto succumbed to injuries when a suspected drunk driver’s sports utility vehicle slammed into the house on June 9.

Yoseline’s mother, Mari Luz Jacinto Hernandez, 38, and her 5- and 3-year-old sisters, Eileen Lopez Jacinto and Alexa Sanchez, died from their injuries not long after the crash. Yoseline, the eldest daughter, was flown to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where she received treatment last week. She died at the hospital on Saturday, according to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office.

The California Highway Patrol reported that Felix Ferdin, 46, was driving an SUV and crashed into the family’s duplex home. Ferdin made his first court appearance last week.

Ferdin, who has remained in custody since the crash, returned to court Monday morning. As a result of Yoseline’s death, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office filed new charges against Ferdin.

The defendant now faces four counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in connection with the deaths, according to an amended criminal complaint filed Monday morning in Stanislaus Superior Court.

Felix Ferdin.jpg
Felix Ferdin Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department

Ferdin pleaded not guilty to the charges listed in the amended complaint, said John Goold, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office. Superior Court Judge Robert Westbrook scheduled Ferdin to return to court July 30, according to court staff. Ferdin’s bail amount has been set at $1 million.

The crash was reported shortly after 1:30 a.m. at the duplex in the 1200 block of Sam Avenue, just outside Ceres.

A man who said he witnessed the crash of a car into a duplex just outside of Ceres gives an account. The crash early Sunday killed a mother and two of her young daughters.

Ferdin suffered minor injuries. CHP officials have said Ferdin, in a 2007 Chevrolet Equinox, was heading west on Holm Avenue at a high speed and failed to stop at the stop sign at Herndon, where Holm dead-ends. The SUV went through the fence and backyard of the duplex before crashing into the home.

The mother and her daughters were apparently asleep in a bedroom when the crash occurred, Jorge Sanchez, the mother’s husband, has told The Bee. He said Eileen and Alexa were his daughters and Yoseline was his stepdaughter. He wasn’t home when the crash occurred.

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Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.
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