MONTEREY COUNTY – On February 2, 202, Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni announced that Hilda Beatriz Valencia Flores, 29, of Salinas, will be sentenced to prison for three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter with intoxication and one count of driving under the influence of a drug, causing great bodily injury.
On May 31, 2019 at 5:30 a.m., Anai Rangel, age 20 at the time, and her mother, Teresa Rangel, age 43, left their Salinas home for their jobs in Watsonville. Along the way, the Rangels picked up Marta Rangel Torres, age 58 and Blanca Rangel, age 49. The four women were traveling northbound on San Miguel Canyon Road, when Anai Rangel, who was driving, saw Valencia Flores’s Chevrolet Malibu, traveling southbound, coming straight towards her in the northbound lane. Anai attempted to swerve out of the way, however, Valencia Flores also swerved in the same direction which caused a head-on collision.
As a result of the collision, Teresa Rangel, Marta Rangel Torres, and Blanca Rangel were killed. All three women died of multiple blunt force trauma. Anai Rangel survived, but she suffered multiple bone fractures from the incident.
Immediately before the accident, another motorist, who had been driving behind Valencia Flores, observed her weaving all over the roadway to the point he attempted to call 911 to report a possible drunk driver. Moments later, the motorist witnessed the head-on collision.
When a California Highway Patrol officer contacted Valencia Flores at the scene, he saw that she was displaying signs of being under the influence of a drug. Shortly thereafter, a methamphetamine pipe was found in the front pocket of her jacket. A blood sample was taken from Valencia Flores and a later analysis by the Department of Justice confirmed that she had methamphetamine in her system.
“This is an example of the very tragic loss of productive lives that can occur when a driver under the influence of drugs gets behind the wheel,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Criminalists at the California Department of Justice assist counties with these types of cases by analyzing evidence, in this case a blood sample. Their work is of great assistance to investigations and prosecutions. Our thoughts are with the Rangel family members who lost their loved ones.”
Flores will be sentenced to serve 11 years and 8 months in prison on March 30, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 6 of the Monterey County Superior Court.