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Two Girls Lose Their Lives in Tragic Morgan Hill Accident

Gilroy, California – The Morgan Hill community is enveloped in sadness following the heartbreaking loss of two precious girls, 7-year-old Elisa Ornelas and 4-year-old Valentina Ornelas, in a tragic accident along Highway 152 east of Gilroy.

On Friday, January 12, 2024, a fateful incident unfolded when the driver of a Tesla attempted to overtake a tractor-trailer, leading to a series of unfortunate events. The Tesla grazed the front of the truck and veered into oncoming traffic. The Honda carrying the girls was struck by the Tesla before colliding head-on with a Dodge. In total, five vehicles were involved in this tragic incident, with the Dodge subsequently colliding with the large truck.

The impact resulted in the immediate loss of Elisa at the accident scene, while Valentina, taken to the hospital, also succumbed to her injuries later. A 1-year-old child traveling in the same vehicle was hospitalized for treatment.

The devastated Ornelas family shared details about the girls, who had a deep passion for farm animals and enjoyed being outdoors. They adored their younger brother and parents, who survived the accident.

A roadside memorial now marks the spot where the tragedy occurred.

To support the family during this difficult time, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched. Cesar and Maribel Ornelas, the parents of the girls, will receive the funds raised to help cover funeral expenses and the family’s needs.

Daniel Lopez, owner of a nearby farm produce stand, expressed concern about road safety in the area, noting the frequency of fatal accidents. He called for action to address safety on Highway 152, which currently has only one lane.

While the Ornelas family had plans to travel out of town when the tragic accident occurred, it is unknown whether drugs or alcohol played any role in the collision.

Anyone with additional information about the Morgan Hill accident is urged to contact Officer Vasquez of the Hollister Highway Patrol at 408-427-0700.

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