2 girls die after car plunges into reservoir

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SAN DIEGO — A 22-year-old woman was behind bars Monday for allegedly crashing her minivan into Otay Lakes Reservoir while intoxicated, resulting in the deaths of two 5-year-old girls riding in the back seat.

Giuliana Figueroa and Lesette Silva

Arlene Anna Hernandez of Chula Vista lost control of the eastbound 2005 Kia Sedona on Otay Lakes Road shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The vehicle tumbled down an embankment near Wueste Road, overturned, landed on its roof in the water and sank, CHP public-affairs Officer Omar Morales said.

Hernandez and a man in the front passenger seat were able to extricate themselves, but Giuliana Figueroa of La Mesa and Lesette Silva of Chula Vista remained inside until Border Patrol agents and several citizens pulled the girls out.

Medics airlifted the children to Rady Children’s Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Hernandez was booked into Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, cruelty to children and driving while intoxicated. She was being held on $400,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Hernandez’s relationship to the girls remained unclear this afternoon, though news accounts indicated that one of them was her daughter.

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