Only five of the seven people in a van that was rear-ended in Nevada over Easter weekend were wearing seatbelts at the time, the Nevada Highway Patrol said Wednesday. One of the unbuckled passengers was among those killed.
The collision, about 3 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 15 north of Las Vegas, caused the van to spin out and then flip. Five people, including three brothers, were killed. Angela Sandoval, 13, from East L.A., was the lone person not wearing a seatbelt who died.
Her 15-year-old brother, Eddie Sandoval, also was not wearing a seatbelt, investigators concluded. Eddie was critically injured but survived.
Everyone else was strapped in, authorities said, including the children’s mother, Maria Cardenas, who was driving and was the van’s only other survivor. Cardenas’ boyfriend, Leonardo Fernandez-Avila, 45, and his two brothers, Genaro, 41, and Raudel, 49, died, as did Raudel's wife, Belen.
The group was headed back to the Los Angeles area after saying their last goodbyes to the Fernandez brothers’ father in Denver.