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Caruthers student sells pig at fair then donates money to family of teen killed in DUI crash

Alyssa Salinas (left) posted a photo of her with former Caruthers High softball teammate Olivia Mendoza (left), who was killed in a car crash Friday night.
Alyssa Salinas (left) posted a photo of her with former Caruthers High softball teammate Olivia Mendoza (left), who was killed in a car crash Friday night. Alyssa Salinas

The death of a recent Caruthers High graduate, killed by an alleged DUI truck driver, prompted a current high school student to help the family pay for funeral expenses.

Olivia Mendoza — a 19-year-old who was described as “the goofiest girl you’ll ever meet who was always trying to make people laugh” — died Friday night just outside of Selma.

A big rig driver who allegedly was under the influence of marijuana crashed into the teen’s car, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“I really looked up to her,” said Alyssa Salinas, a friend of Mendoza.

Salinas, a 17-year-old senior at Caruthers High and a member of the Future Farmers of America club, announced prior to selling her pig Saturday at the Caruthers Fair that she would donate all proceeds to the Mendoza family.

Mendoza and Salinas were teammates for the Caruthers soccer and softball teams. Mendoza graduated in 2018.

Salinas’ pig sold for about $20 per pound and raised at least $5,000 for Mendoza’s funeral.

“I first thought, ‘Wow, what a gesture for a 17-year-old,’” said Larry Trigueiro, one of Alyssa Salinas’ former softball coaches. “So I rounded up some friends and business owners. We decided to cover the costs of her animal, (and help Alyssa) make some money like all kids.

“So we decided to run the price of her pig up to do all that and raise money for Olivia. ... Prayers for the Mendoza family.”

Salinas responded on Twitter: “It was an easy choice. O was a great person, teammate and friend to me. And it’s the least I could do for her. Rest easy Liv. We miss you down here.”

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