UPDATED: Fatal wreck in Gilroy kills four

The driver of a Mustang that crashed into a concrete drainage ditch Tuesday night in Gilroy—killing four passengers—has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

GILROY—A Gilroy man was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence Tuesday night after his Mustang plunged into a ditch off Leavesley Road, killing three Gilroy high school girls and a young man and seriously injuring himself, authorities reported.
Anthony Imbronone III, 23, the driver, was the only survivor, authorities said. He has been arrested on a charge of suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The female victims, all 18, attended Gilroy Unified School District high schools.
They were identified as Yesenia Mendoza Pina and Yolanda Jimenez, seniors at Mt. Madonna Continuation High School, and Christopher High School senior Sara Williams, according to the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office.
The male victim was identified as Joseph Vasquez Flemate, 24, of Gilroy.
The Leavesley Road crash brings the number of deaths to car accidents since Saturday, May 9, to five—four of them local high school students.
Natalia Salcido, 15, a Christopher High sophomore was killed May 9 after the car in which she was a passenger veered off Miller Avenue and hit a tree. Two other CHS students in the car, the male driver and a female, were not hurt seriously.
The community and its school district have not seen such tragedy in recent memory, GUSD Superintendent Debbie Flores said.
“We’re just reeling from the whole thing. We’ve lost four students in a week to car accidents,” she added.“Our hearts and prayers go out to these families. Every one of us who is a parent can’t even imagine the pain they’re feeling right now about the loss of their child.”
The Miller Avenue accident that took Salcido’s life remains under investigation. A candlelight vigil in Salcido’s memory drew more than 1,000 persons to CHS Monday night. (Click here for photos from the vigil)
Just 24 hours later, Imbronone was driving a 1997 Ford Mustang eastbound on Leavesley Road at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night when he failed to negotiate a sharp right-hand curve and slid out of control, crossed the double yellow lines and crashed into a concrete drainage ditch on the east side of the road, CHP Officer Herb Kellogg said.
Authorities continue to investigate why Imbronone lost control of the vehicle.
When first responders arrived on scene after a person in the area heard the crash, walked to the scene and called 9-1-1, Imbronone was alive and suffering from “major injuries,” and was transported to nearby Saint Louise Regional Hospital by ambulance before being airlifted to the San Jose Regional Medical Center, the CHP said. He was then arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, according to Kellogg.
Additional charges may be filed against Imbronone after the investigation is complete, and that decision rests with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, he added.
Earlier Wednesday, the CHP informed district officials Williams was the first victim to be identified. At the time, only the facts the other two female victims were 18 and from Gilroy were released.
“When they told me two other girls her age were in the car, I immediately began to worry they were our students,” Flores said.
Students across GUSD campuses were informed of the deaths, after the victims’ next-of-kin were notified, over the intercom system. The announcement included a notice that grief and peer support counselors were available district-wide at every school, Flores added.
All four student victims since Saturday have siblings at Gilroy’s three middle schools, according to Flores.
“We have plenty of counseling services at all the schools. A lot of agencies and community groups are helping us,” she added.
Some students and staff were “too distraught with grief” to continue school or work Wednesday, Flores said, and many students met with campus counselors. CHS Principal Paul Winslow said substitutes helped manage classes while teachers impacted by the losses could seek counseling.
Mendoza Pina and Jimenez attended Gilroy High School prior to attending Mt. Madonna, Flores added.
The last time a current GUSD student died in a car accident was more than 10 years ago, according to the superintendent.