2 men charged after mother and children killed in fiery Southern California crash - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

2 men charged after mother and children killed in fiery Southern California crash

EL MONTE, Calif. (AP) -- Two men racing through the streets of this Southern California town have been charged in a crash that killed a woman and her two young children.

Two cars driven by Robert Canizalez, 19, and Martin Morones, 21, sped through an intersection Monday night, with Canizalez broadsiding the victims' car, police Lt. Ken Alva said.

The force of the crash pushed the family's car 50 feet into a pickup, where it burst into flames.

"It was a fierce crash,'' police Detective Ralph Batres said. "The explosion that resulted was immense.''

Morones and Canizalez were each charged Tuesday with three counts of murder. Morones fled the scene on foot and was being sought Wednesday, adding hit-and-run to the charges against him.

Canizalez remained jailed Wednesday and could not be contacted before visiting hours. El Monte police did not know whether he had an attorney.

Authorities identified the victims as Dora Groce, 41; and her children Robert, 8, and Catherine, 4. Three people in the pickup suffered minor injuries.

Groce's grieving husband, 44-year-old Stephen Groce, said his wife was a Christian and would have preached forgiveness.

"She would just tell them, 'God bless you,''' he said. "I can't do that. ... It's the worst day of your life -- times three. These guys took my life away from me just because they wanted to act stupid.''