Courts & Crime

Manslaughter charges for man who let 11-year-old drive

FRESNO, Calif. — A 34-year-old man faces manslaughter charges in the death of three people who died in the crash of a car driven by an 11-year-old last month near Woodville.

Froylan Zamora Gonzalez was arrested Monday night immediately after his release from Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, where he was treated for injuries he suffered in the Jan. 11 crash. He was booked on suspicion of three counts of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment.

Jose Silva Covarrubias, 11, was driving a 1993 Honda when he failed to stop at a stop sign and the Honda was broadsided by a car driven by Charles Seguin, 44, of Porterville. The crash killed Jose, his sister, Elizabeth Silva Covarrubias, 6, and their mother, Maria Silva Covarrubias, 30. Gonzalez suffered major injuries.

Jose's aunt, Brenda Silva, said last month that the boy was probably getting a driving lesson from Gonzalez because there was "no other reason for him to be behind the wheel." She said she had seen Jose driving a car once before, but other relatives told her that the 11-year-old had driven several times before. She said she had mixed emotions of grief over losing three relatives and anger that Maria Silva Covarrubias allowed the driving lesson.

The four were returning to their Woodville home from soccer practice for the two children when the crash occurred.