4 young California residents killed when SUV plunges off bridge

Four young San Francisco Bay Area residents died when their vehicle plunged off a bridge and struck a parked freight train before hitting the ground, the California Highway Patrol said.

Perla Navarro, 19, of Richmond, Kyle Erickson, 19, of Pittsburg, Christopher Mata, 21, of Rodeo, and Cecilia Ayala, 22, of Hayward, were killed when the SUV they were traveling in spun out while crossing the Carquinez Bridge and plummeted over the railing.

The crash occurred just before 9 p.m. Tuesday in Crockett, 29 miles northeast of San Francisco. Officials say the car fell 15 stories.

Officers are reviewing footage but do not know what caused the driver to lose control.


Perla Navarro, 19, of Richmond, California. One of four victims

The family of 19-year-old Perla Navarro told KTVU that she just had just graduated from Golden Gate Community School in Rodeo and was two months pregnant with her first child. They are now asking for donations for her funeral expenses.

“She was always very loving, warm, and nurturing,” Veronica Martinez, Perla’s mother, said. “I’m not going to be able to talk to her or see her walk through the door, or hold my grandbaby.”

Perla had plans to study psychology and was already taking college courses.

“She wanted to work with kids who suffered depression or were at-risk,” Martinez said.

CHP in Solano County is handling the investigation, according to Officer David Harvey.

“We’re not sure what the cause was,” he said. “We don't know if it was due to high speed or related to traffic issues.”

Anyone who was a witness to the accident is asked to call the CHP Solano office at 707-428-2100. Harvey noted that this is the third collision this year that involved a car going over the concrete barrier on the Carquinez Bridge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.