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Few Answers Found for Crashes That Killed 4

Accidents: As investigation proceeds, funeral plans are being made. Police search for a truck driver involved in the second of Wednesday's fatal incidents.

March 30, 1996|MACK REED | TIMES STAFF WRITER

While California Highway Patrol investigators try to learn what caused two accidents that claimed four women's lives on Wednesday, funeral services are being planned for the victims.

Diane Aloia, a bagel shop owner from Simi Valley, will be remembered at 10 a.m. today in services at the Sonrise Christian Fellowship, 2350 Shasta Way in Simi Valley.

Services are planned next week for the other victims in that crash--two women who were lost and trying to find their way back to Downey when Aloia's car slammed into their's on the Simi Valley Freeway.

Loraine Peralez, 22, of Downey and Diane Gonzales, 28, of Azusa had gone with two friends that evening to a Pasadena bar called Incognito, said Estela Richeda, an attorney for the Peralez family.

At the evening's end, the four women split up into two cars with Peralez acting as a designated driver for Gonzales, and set out for the Downey area in a caravan, Richeda said.

But at some point on the Golden State Freeway, the cars became separated when Peralez apparently took a wrong turn and headed up the Simi Valley Freeway, Richeda said.

There, the car Peralez was driving smashed at full speed into a compact car driven by Aloia, 40, who had entered the fast lane of the westbound freeway in the wrong direction, police said. The crash killed all three women instantly.

"[Peralez'] mom told me that she was very wonderful," Richeda said Friday. "She was always giving, just a terrific person, always with a smile."

Visitation hours for Peralez are scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at Bagues Brothers Mortuary, 1930 E. 1st St. in Los Angeles. A funeral Mass is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Soledad Church, 4561 Brooklyn Ave. in Los Angeles.

Funeral services for Diane Gonzales are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at White's Funeral Home, 404 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa. Her family could not be reached Friday for comment.

CHP investigators still don't know how Aloia wound up going the wrong direction on the Simi Freeway, Officer Dave Cockrill said.

Leads are thin, too, in the solo rollover accident that occurred five hours later and five miles away on the Moorpark Freeway, killing a 20-year-old Moorpark College student.

Yvonne Stenner of Newbury Park had lost control of her pickup truck, which flipped several times after she swerved to avoid a bag full of aluminum cans that burst on the freeway in front of her.

Witnesses said the wind blew the bag onto the roadway from the bed of another pickup truck. Investigators are now looking for the driver of the truck, who did not stop when the accident occurred.

"We have gotten a few tips, including one that seemed to be pretty good," Cockrill said.

"But we went out and followed it, and the driver doesn't match the description we have," he said.

Family friends said they are still awaiting funeral plans for Stenner because her parents were due to arrive in Newbury Park on Friday from their home in Thailand.

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