Community healing, coming together after fatal Taft crashes

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 02:34:46-04

Taft residents held a community prayer tonight to honor the victims of two fatal crashes last week.

The community is still shaken up but determined to come together. About 30 people gathered at the Oilfield Workers Monument in Taft at 6:30 p.m. 

"When something tragic happens in this town, the community is just so amazing when we band together, and we pull through for families," Mackenize Pena said. 

Pena had the idea to hold the community prayer after remembering past gatherings that were held.

25-year-old Francisco De La Cruz was killed last Sunday after witnesses saw a driver weaving in and out of his lane on Taft Highway, eventually crashing into him head on. De La Cruz was the father of two children.

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Five days later on the same stretch of highway, Raeleen Sorenson and her 20-year-old daughter Raegan were killed when police say a drunk driver attempted to pass cars and hit them head on.

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"We just look out for each other and make sure that if any of us are intoxicated, just do a good deed and make sure they don't get in the vehicle because a lot of people lost a lot of good family members these last 2 weeks," Youth Pastor Vincent Pena said.