BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A family is desperately searching for answers after two sisters burned to death and a third was seriously injured in a crash off McKee Road earlier this month.
The victims’ father, Alfonso Duarte, says he received a call from one of his daughters who said they were being chased by two cars.
At around 3 a.m. on March 4, Duarte said he received that call from his daughter Karime.
“She was terrified, and told me she and her sister were being chased by two cars on McKee Road,” Duarte told 17 News. Duarte said he went looking for them and found a fiery crash scene on McKee road near Highway 99.
“The police didn’t let me go near and I didn’t want to think it was my daughter’s car, so I just kept searching for them,” he said.
Later, Duarte found out his daughter Karime Duarte, 21, and Diana Ponce, 23, and Jennifer Duarte, 15, were in their Honda Accord. A Dodge pickup crashed with their Honda and the Honda burst into flames killing Karime and Jennifer. The family dog, Cleo, was also killed in the fiery crash.
Jennifer Duarte was a freshman at Golden Valley High School.
“This is very difficult for us. My wife can’t accept it and cries every day about it,” Duarte said.
Diana had a paper route and her sisters would help her fold and bag the paper, then deliver it usually between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. every morning for the past seven months.
Silvia Ponce is another sister who at time would go with the other three, but stayed home that night.
“I couldn’t believe it happened because I was just with them,” Ponce said.
The surviving sister, Diana Ponce, suffered severe injuries and was just released from a hospital.
“They always tried their best to do what they could to get a little bit of extra money for the house, that’s all that they did. That’s all that they cared about,” Silvia Ponce said.
“They didn’t deserve to die so young.”
The family says they still have not received the bodies of their loved ones. Funeral services are pending.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family. You can donate to it at this link.