Mother Faces Felony Charges in Girls' Deaths

One of the victims was the driver's own daughter

By R. Stickney and Diana Guevara
|  Monday, Aug 6, 2012  |  Updated 8:56 PM PDT
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Arlene Hernandez, 22, was driving a Kia Sorento eastbound on Otay Lakes Road around 6 p.m. when she lost control near Wueste Road, veered off the side of the road and into the water, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Arlene Hernandez, 22, was driving a Kia Sorento eastbound on Otay Lakes Road around 6 p.m. when she lost control near Wueste Road, veered off the side of the road and into the water, according to the California Highway Patrol.

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 A Chula Vista woman faces four felony counts including gross vehicular manslaughter after her car rolled into Otay Reservoir Sunday killing two children in the backseat.

Giuliana "Juju" Figueroa of La Mesa and Lesette Silva of Chula Vista, each five years old, died when a Kia Sorrento veered off Wueste Road and flipped onto its roof in the reservoir.

Witnesses, U.S. Border Patrol agents and firefighters worked to pull the girls from the wreckage soon after it happened at 6 p.m.

Two medical helicopters transported the children to Rady Children’s Hospital but the girls died from their injuries.

The driver, Arlene Hernandez, 22, and a male passenger, managed to escape the submerged vehicle.

Hernandez is being held on $400,000 bail and faces charges of cruelty to child leading to death, and DUI drugs/alcohol resulting in bodily injury.

CHP investigators said one of the girls was Hernandez’s daughter. The other child was the daughter of the male passenger.

She's scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Chula Vista.

California Highway Patrol investigators are not releasing the name of the passenger or any details of his involvement.

A service for Figueroa (pictured right) will be held Tuesday at the Salt Creek community park in Eastlake tomorrow.

A memorial was set up for her family at Wells Fargo, #511400393 8405630834. For more information click here.

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