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Public Safety

Two 5-Year-Old Girls Die When Car Plunges Into Otay Lakes Reservoir

A 22-year-old woman was jailed today on suspicion of drunken driving and gross vehicular manslaughter after her minivan crashed into the Otay Lakes Reservoir, killing two 5-year-old girls in the backseat.

Arlene Anna Hernandez was booked into the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility in Santee around 12:30 a.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's jail records.

Shortly before 6:15 p.m. Sunday, Hernandez was behind the wheel of an eastbound 2005 Kia Sedona that crashed into the reservoir from Otay Lakes Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.


"Due to Hernandez's level of intoxication, she lost control of the Kia,'' which tumbled down the embankment and landed on its roof in the reservoir lake,'' a CHP statement said.

Hernandez and a man in the front passenger seat were able to get themselves out of the submerged van, it said.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and civilians extricated the girls and rendered aid until paramedics arrived. The children were transported by helicopter to Rady Children's Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office identified the girls as Lesette Silva and Guliana Figueroa. Their relationship to Hernandez, if any, was not immediately clear.

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