Hollister, CA (January 15, 2024) 7-year-old Elisa Ornelas and her 4-year-old sister, Valentina Ornelas, were both tragically killed in a head-on collision on Highway 152. The California Highway Patrol said the collision occurred right around 7:00 a.m. on Friday, January 12th, when a 2021 Tesla tried to pass a tractor-trailer on the 2-lane highway. A total of five vehicles were involved in the fatal Hollister crash.
The 2 children, Elisa and Valentina Ornelas, were in the family van with their father, another adult and their 1-year-old brother. At the same time, a 25-year-old Los Banos man was driving a Tesla in the opposite lane and ended up behind a slow-moving semi-truck. The driver of the Tesla decided to pass the 2015 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, but in doing so, the front right side of his Tesla struck the front, right-side of a 2018 Honda coming from the opposite direction.
After hitting the car, the Tesla lost control and crashed into a 2017 Dodge van, driven by a Morgan Hill man. Three children and an adult passenger also occupied the Dodge van, according to authorities. The force of the collision caused the van to spin before it crashed into the Petrbilt big rig, leading to a chain reaction collision. The Peterbilt truck veered southward and crashed through a fence and the Tesla collided with a 2020 Subaru.
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In total, 5 vehicles and at least 12 people were involved in this fatal collision on Highway 152. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene quickly and rushed to give medical aid to those in need. They found the two girls in the Dodge van with life-threatening injuries. Elisa Ornelas, only 7-years-old, was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities. 4-year-old Valentina Ornelas was rushed to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in critical condition. Sadly, she died from her injuries while at the hospital.
The driver of the Tesla sustained serious injuries and was taken to San Jose Regional Medical Center, according to the California Highway Patrol. Officers are still investigating this tragic accident. At this time, they do not know if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in this fatal Hollister collision.