4 dead in crash on Highway 180 west of Kerman; DUI suspected

The Fresno BeeJune 22, 2014 

A Fresno man was arrested on suspicion of DUI, gross vehicular manslaughter and homicide in connection with a grinding crash that killed four people -- two of them children from Mendota -- west of Kerman on Sunday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Rien Ban, 43, was treated for his injuries Sunday and booked into the Fresno County Jail late Sunday night.

CHP Sgt. Sean Haller said Ban was the driver of the blue Mercedes SUV that was headed east when it smashed into a westbound black Kia while passing a slower car near Highway 180 and Sonoma Avenue about 4:30 p.m. Ban was driving 65 to 70 mph.

Witnesses said the SUV stayed in the westbound lane even after it passed the slower vehicle. The oncoming Kia slowed and turned left to avoid a crash. The SUV then turned right, and the two vehicles smashed into each other, Haller said.

All three passengers of the Kia -- a woman riding in the front seat and two boys -- were pronounced dead at the scene. Monday morning, the Fresno County Coroner's Office identified the woman as Belkys Rodriguez Quesada, 25 and the boys as 7-year-old Danny Enriquez Rodriguez and 10-year-old Lisandro Enriquez Rodriguez, who were both riding in the rear seat. On Sunday, the CHP said it appeared all of the people in the Kia were from a Mendota family, although it couldn't confirm it at the time.

The driver of the Kia, identified by the CHP as 37-year-old Suyupa Quezada of Mendota, suffered moderate injuries and was taken by helicopter to Community Regional Medical Center.

There were two passengers in the SUV. One of them, 37-year-old Sinoeun Uong of Sacramento, was pronounced dead at the scene and the other, 37-year-old Ol Oeum of Fresno, was taken by helicopter to CRMC for moderate injuries. The coroner's office said Uong was the front-seat passenger in the SUV.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com.

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