Police say a father and his daughter were killed after a man drove the wrong way on Route 29 while under the influence. NBC10’s Christine Maddela spoke to the victims’ family.
A wrong-way driver collided with a father's minivan leaving that man and one of his children dead on Father's Day.
The driver was arrested after police say he drove the wrong way on a road while under the influence, leading to the deadly crash.
Jorge Deleon, 28, of Trenton was driving a Silver Nissan Quest north on Route 29 shortly before 4 a.m. in Hamilton Township, according to local police.
His 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter were also inside the vehicle.
As Deleon was driving, police say Manuel Vazquez Gutierrez, 27, was driving a blue Dodge Durango south in the northbound lanes and struck Deleon’s vehicle head-on.
Deleon was pronounced dead at the scene. His daughter Daralene was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she later died from her injuries. His son was taken to Helene Fuld Medical Center where he remained in serious condition. Family members also say Deleon has three other children.
“He was a great father. He had five kids that he loved. He was supposed to spend the day today with his kids,” said his niece Jackelin Aguilar.
Gutierrez was also taken to Helene Fuld where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police say Gutierrez was driving under the influence during the crash. He was arrested and charged with death by auto, aggravated assault, operating a motor vehicle while unlicensed, causing death and serious bodily injury and DUI.
He was being held in Mercer County Jail on $250,000 bail.
“I just feel anger that he took two lives away,” said Jorge's niece Jennifer Vicuna. “I'm going to miss him…I love him so much.”