The names of a woman and 5-year-old boy who died after a suspected drunken driver hit their Jeep on Highway 99 Friday afternoon have been released by the coroner's office.
Karla Mendoza, 21, and Axel Rodriguez of Half Moon Bay suffered fatal injuries in the 4:14 p.m. crash just north of Highway 119, according to a coroner's release. Axel died at the scene and Mendoza was pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center about seven hours later.
Mendoza, Axel and two others were traveling in a Jeep that stopped in the center median divider, with hazard lights on, due to a flat tire, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Three of the occupants were inside when a vehicle driven by 22-year-old Daniel Mejia drifted off the road and struck the right rear side of the Jeep, Highway Patrol officers said. Mejia was arrested after being treated for minor injuries.
In addition to Axel and Mendoza, a 3-year-old in the Jeep was injured. The Jeep driver, a 25-year-old man, was unharmed because he was outside the vehicle getting ready to change the flat tire when the crash occurred, Highway Patrol officers said.
A gofundme page has been set up to help the family pay medical bills and send the bodies to Mexico for burial. The page is at https://www.gofundme.com/rodriguez-mendoza-memory.