Vigils honor Gilroy high school girls

Classmates and friends of Natalia Salcido, a 15-year-old who was killed in a car accident Saturday, comfort each other during a candlelight vigil in her memory. More than 1,000 people attended the vigil to honor the life of Salcido Monday evening at Chris

GILROY—Vigils are planned to honor three high school girls killed Tuesday night in a car accident authorities believe was caused by an intoxicated driver.
Classmates, friends, family and staff will mourn Mt. Madonna Continuation High School seniors Yesenia Mendoza Pina and Yolanda Jimenez, both 18, at the Mt. Madonna High campus, 8750 Hirasaki Court, Gilroy, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 15.
A separate vigil to remember Sara Williams, 18, a Christopher High School senior, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 18 in the CHS main quad at 850 Day Road in Gilroy.
Joseph Vasquez Flemate, 24, a Gilroy man who was a passenger in the car with the other victims, also died in the Tuesday night collision on Leavesley Road just east of New Avenue.
All three high school seniors died one month before they were to be graduated, according to school officials.
The driver of the car, Antonio Imbronone III, 23, was seriously injured and taken to hospital where he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The single-vehicle accident is under investigation and any additional charges against Imbronone would be filed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The deaths came four days after CHS sophomore Natalia Salcido, 15, died when the car she was in hit a tree on Miller Avenue May 9. Two other CHS students in the car, including the driver, escaped with minor injuries, according to Gilroy police.
A candlelight vigil was held in Salcido’s honor on Monday night, just 24 hours before the Tuesday night wreck. More than 1,000 people attended the vigil at CHS.
Since Saturday, students on campuses throughout the Gilroy Unified School District have created posters to memorialize the four students killed in car accidents in four days. CHS students on Thursday wore Williams’ favorite, black, to pay their respects, according to GUSD Superintendent Debbie Flores.
At graduation ceremonies next month, honorary diplomas will be presented to the victims’ families, she said.