A Bakersfield family is grappling with the loss of a loved one. It was on her drive back from work, when Bianca Flores was killed by a car that was racing and drove into her vehicle. The family is seeking answers and wants the community to help.
On February 2nd, 19-year-old Bianca Flores was killed near the intersection of Panama Lane and Akers Road. Officials say it was because of an illegal street race. We spoke to Bianca’s family and in an emotional conversation, they tell us their “lives will never be the same.”
“We miss her and she’s just a wonderful human being,” said Bianca’s aunt, Melinda Chipres. She adds “this is a great loss to our family and the community.”
Melinda says Bianca used to love drawing, painting, spending times with her dogs and family.
“She’s a wonderful girl, hardworking, responsible, loving, great niece, wonderful daughter, a great big sister to her two younger siblings, a loyal friend,” remembers Melinda.
Bianca’s life was cut short when officials say a car and motorcycle were racing, and the car collided with hers, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Bianca should be here, we should not be burying our niece. Our family is in a lot of pain,” Melinda said.
According to the Bakersfield Police Department, the driver of the car who hit Bianca, Iqbal Singh, is currently in the hospital being treated for his injuries and will be booked and charged for murder among others, once he is discharged.
But, officials say they still have not found the motorcyclist who was racing with Singh. So, the family is now asking the community for help.
“That motorcyclist is still out there. Somebody knows who that person is, they know who they are,” said Sergio Chipres, Bianca’s uncle. “We need the community’s support for that person to step forward.”
If you have any information about the motorcyclist, you are asked to call BPD at 661-327-7111.
Sergio calls street racing a community problem. He says others have reached out to them about street racing and sideshows. According to BPD, in 2020 and 2021, the city had 11 deaths related to street racing. They responded to 272 calls about street racing in 2021. Assembly member Vince Fong and local law enforcement organizations are working to curb illegal racing and sideshows across the state, but it’s still a process to get all the parts in place.
Sergio says it’s important to strengthen these laws so no other family has to go through this. “It could have been anybody,” he said.
Melinda says she will hold on to the moments she did get to spend with Bianca. She says she will miss Bianca’s smile. “Her smile would light up a room. And her kindness, she was always so kind to everybody. That’s what I'm going to miss the most about her,” she said.
To honor Bianca, the family says they are hosting a vigil on February 15th from 4 to 6:30 pm at Challenger Park in Southwest Bakersfield, and the public is invited to attend.
If anyone knows anything about the incident, you can contact BPD.