Family members and those close to a former Santa Maria man identified as the driver of a car that crashed Tuesday night in Santa Barbara killing himself and two other passengers are speaking out for the first time about the deadly accident.
“I’m numb and I’m angry”, says Leslie Salazar who says she was engaged to be married to 24 year old Angel Flores and is pregnant with their daughter.
Santa Barbara Police say Angel Flores was driving the older-model Lexus on Tuesday night eastbound on Cliff Drive when it went out of control, jumped the curb, smashed into a fire hydrant, rocks and a tree near the intersection with La Marina, killing Flores and two other passengers in the car on impact.
A fourth passenger is recovering from major injuries in the hospital.
“Its the most horrific moment of my life”, Leslie Salazar says about the crash that killed her fiance, “he’s the love of my life and he’s the person that I was supposed to grow old with.”
“To me its still like I’m in a nightmare right now”, says Angel Flores’ brother Miguel, “I don’t really believe that this has happened.”
Miguel Flores and sister Unique Flores say Angel Flores grew up in the Santa Maria Valley, attended local schools but struggled in recent years to overcome addiction and other debilitating physical issues and was homeless at the time of his sudden death Tuesday night.
“I loved him, I tried to be there for him as much as I can being his little sister”, Unique Flores, “but at the same time it was hard.”
As the Flores family and close friends cope with Angel’s sudden death, they’re asking the public not to rush to judgement on what caused the deadly crash Tuesday night.
“It was a freak accident”, Leslie Salazar says, “there is no explanation, and the judgements can be said, everybody can have an opinion about what happened.”
The Flores family has set up a “GoFundMe” page online in the name of Angel Luis Flores to help raise money for his funeral expenses.