Four family members from the Inland Empire, including two children, were killed late Sunday in a rollover crash with another vehicle on a San Diego County highway.
Late Monday, the San Diego Coroner identified the youngest victim as 9-year-old Timothy Silalahi of Loma Linda. He was returning with his mother, grandmother, siblings and others from a Christmas party at a relative's home in northern San Diego County, according to Deborah Silalahi, whose cousin is the boy's father. The family had immigrated from Indonesia.
The coroner had yet to confirm the identifies of the two women, ages 40 and 75, who lost their lives. Three other women in the Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle were hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol. The Sequoia collided with another vehicle on State Route 78 east of Nordahl Road in the Escondido area. The 25 year old driver of the Chevy Sonic was not seriously injured and initially arrested on suspicion of vehicle manslaughter, but he was later released after questioning.
The Sonic driver was released because alcohol, drugs or speed were not involved in the crash, authorities told The Associated Press. Results of the investigation will be delivered to the district attorney's office for consideration of charges, according to the CHP.
The group in the SUV was traveling from a relative's house in Carlsbad, heading home to the Loma Linda area. The children's ages were estimated to be around 9 and 17, CHP officers said.
The driver of the Chevy Sonic told investigators he was changing lanes and attempting to avoid another vehicle when he collided with the sport utility vehicle, according to the CHP. Both vechiles crashed down and embankment.
The Sequoia rolled and crashed into a tree.
"This is a really sad scene," said CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt.
Three other women in the sport utility vehicle were hospitalized with moderate to major injuries, according to the CHP.
The man was the only occupant in the Sonic. He was not injured.
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NBC4's Patrick Healy contributed to this report.