Two Gabrielino Graduates Killed in Alleged Dui Crash in Alhambra *Updated*

By Monica Luhar & Esmee Xavier – Alhambra Source 

Friends expressed shock and disbelief as news spread that San Gabriel residents Manolo “Simon” Magat and Joseph Almario died early Tuesday morning in a car accident off the 10 Freeway.

Friends of Almario, 21, described him as someone who could always be counted on for a good laugh and lit up a room. In high school he participated in activities from baseball to marching band and was homecoming king. Despite being very “cool,” they said, he was also able to relate to all types of people.

Almario had studied at Pasadena City College, they said, and was recently accepted to Cal State Fullerton, where he intended to start classes in the fall.

Christa Rumpler, a former substitute teacher from Muscatel Middle School, said she was deeply saddened by the loss of her former student, Magat, 23.

“I only knew Simon Magat for a couple of years while he attended the junior high where I was teaching, yet he made a lasting impression and I will never forget him,” she said. “Simon was a shy, sweet boy with a big, beautiful smile that would light up the room. He always had a look in his eyes that said he was wise beyond his years, like he knew the secret answer to life’s riddles and was waiting for the rest of us to catch up.”

Reports of DUIs in Alhambra have increased slightly since the beginning of the year, reaching 18 in the months of June and July (up to the 30th), which is slightly higher than any monthly total for the year 2012 (shown in chart to the right).

Monthly totals of DUIs reported in 2012 | Source: Alhambra Police DepartmentMonthly totals of DUIs reported in 2012 | Source: Alhambra Police Department

*Updated 3:00 p.m.

Police have identified the passengers as Manolo Magat, 23, Joseph Almario, 21, Jason Lieu, 22, and Christine Meng, 22, all from San Gabriel, the Pasadena Star-News is reporting. Magat and Almario died on the scene, while Lieu and Meng were transported to LA USC Medical Center for injuries.

California Highway Patrol say Meng was speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, which caused her to lose control on a curve and crash through a dividing wall at 1:05 a.m. She has been charged with a felony DUI.

Originally posted 7.31.12

Two men were killed around 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning when their vehicle lost control and plunged off the 10 Freeway, KTLA is reporting. A female driver and her three male passengers, all in their early 20s, were driving eastbound on the 10 when their Toyota RAV4 crashed through a three-foot-concrete wall and plummeted between 60-100 feet down to the westbound 10 transition nearing the 710 Freeway.

The driver and another man were taken to the hospital in stable condition with some moderate injuries, while the other two men were pronounced dead at the scene. ”Still under investigation, but it was a combination of speed and possibly alcohol involved in this collision,” CHP Sgt. Bill Preciado told KTLA. Officers noted that the female driver had some “objective symptoms” of intoxication. She was being tested at the hospital for blood alcohol levels, and could be charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter pending an investigation.

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