Three Pronounced Dead after 2-Car Accident near South Melrose Street; Mario Armando Paz Jr. Arrested

PLACENTIA, CA (January 27, 2023) – Wednesday, Lucero Lopez, Alberto Vicente Lopez, and Gregoria Ramirez were killed in a red-light collision.

Officers responded to the scene around 8:45 p.m., at the intersection of Orangethorpe Avenue and South Melrose Street.

Per reports, the driver of a black Honda Civic traveled through a red light at the intersection and hit a church van occupied by multiple passengers.

Upon impact, several occupants were ejected onto the road, causing significant injuries. Despite life-saving efforts, medics pronounced three of the van passengers dead at the scene. In addition, eight other victims sustained serious injuries.

Meanwhile, police arrested the Honda driver, 24-year-old Mario Armando Paz Jr. from Santa Ana, for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Authorities later identified the deceased victims as 10-year-old Lucero Lopez, 36-year-old Alberto Vicente Lopez, and 65-year-old Gregoria Ramirez.

At this time, Placentia Officials continue to investigate the fatal two-vehicle crash. Once available, further details will be provided.

Sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Lucero Lopez, Alberto Vicente Lopez, and Gregoria Ramirez. Thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.

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