Family of Boyle Heights taco truck crash victim hires attorney

June 16, 2012: A police pursuit ended with the death of two women who were waiting in line at taco truck when a driver careened off the freeway and into the crowd.
June 16, 2012: A police pursuit ended with the death of two women who were waiting in line at taco truck when a driver careened off the freeway and into the crowd. Photo via NBC LA

One of the bystanders killed in a gruesome crash involving a suspected drunk driver and the California Highway Patrol will be laid to rest Friday.

Marlene Alatore, 19, died instantly when a car barreling off the Cesar Chavez exit ramp on I-5 South plowed into a taco truck stand on Saturday. Another woman, Claudia Fernandez, 38, was also killed and several others were injured.

The driver, 37-year old Elba Jimenez, is being held on a $2 million bail and faces two murder charges.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the chase began around 11:20 p.m. Saturday when officers suspected Jimenez of drunk driving. Officers attempted to pull her over around Fourth Street on the I-5 North but the driver sped up and took the Cesar Chavez exit.

“The amount of time was a very short time simply because it was from one exit to the other,” said CHP Officer Saul Gomez. He said no helicopter was involved.

The brief chase quickly reached 100 miles per hour. CHP is investigating the case and so is Raul Granados, the attorney the family of Alatorre has recently hired. Granados said he will investigate what exactly happened and offer any legal advice the family needs.

Alatorre was the mother of a one-year-old girl. The family is now caring for the daughter. Granados said the mother has been emotionally wrecked.

“They are of modest means. And this tragic event has set them back and they don’t know how they are going to deal with it,” he said.

A trust fund has been set up to help the family pay for funeral services.

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