Andralas Matthews calls for a ride and heads home to Ceres after crashing a car on Hwy 198 and killing two Visalia teenagers, severely injuring two others
VISALIA – The driver in a Visalia crash that killed two and injured two others is being charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit and run after fleeing the scene without seeking help for his passengers.
The California Highway Patrol was unaware there had been an accident when they received a call of a female pedestrian walking along westbound Highway 198 east of Highway 99 just after 4 a.m. on June 10. After locating the woman, only identified as a 16-year-old from Corcoran, officers quickly realized she had been a passenger in a vehicle that had been involved in a crash. Officers quickly located the wreckage along with two other juvenile females who had been ejected from the vehicle. Unfortunately, the two females, ages 16 and 17 of Visalia, died as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision. The family of one of the teens, 17-year-old Hailey Miramontes, has started a GoFundMe account to pay for her funeral expenses.
An additional passenger, Tommy Eslick, was located near the wreckage after he had also been ejected from the vehicle. Eslick sustained major injuries and was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for treatment.
According to the collision report, Andralas Wallace Matthews, 21, of Ceres, Calif. was driving a 2011 Chrysler sedan westbound on Highway 198 at an undetermined speed. As the car approached the Highway 99 interchange, it traveled into the grass median and overturned several times. While the vehicle overturned, three of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle. It was later determined none of the three were wearing their seat belts.
After the collision, the right front passenger, who had worn her seat belt, was able to climb out of the vehicle and walked along the freeway in search of help. Meanwhile, Matthews fled the scene and failed to seek help for his passengers. Instead, he a called a friend to pick him up. The friend, who did not have knowledge of the crash, began driving Matthews to his home in Stanislaus County. The Merced Police Department intercepted the vehicle Matthews was riding in and arrested him. He was treated for injuries at Mercy Hospital in Merced before being transported back to Tulare County for booking at the Pretrail Facility on charges of felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in this collision. Anyone with information pertaining to this collision is urged to call the Visalia Area CHP Office at 559-734-6767.