Sleeping 16-Year-Old Killed in Her Own Bed by Suspected Drunk Driver

A 16-year-old girl was killed while sleeping in her bed after a 20-year-old man reportedly crashed his SUV into her family's apartment building in California. Police believe that Roberto Rodriguez had been drunk when he was driving his Nissan Pathfinder at 80 miles per hour at around 4 a.m. He crashed into an apartment building, killing the young girl and damaging two units.


Cops arrived at what sounds like a horrifying scene: the man's vehicle was embedded in the building and the poor teen was found dead in her bed. The victim has been identified as Giselle Mendoza, a sophomore at Palmdale High School. The girl's parents say they want "justice" for their daughter, and her distraught sister went on record to say she and her brother loved the teen so much and that they couldn't do anything for her.

I can't imagine how helpless Giselle's parents and siblings felt watching her lose her life right before their eyes. You don't expect your child to be hurt in the home you worked hard to make for them -- the one place where they should always feel protected. It's just ridiculously sad.

Rodriguez was reportedly driving home when he missed his turn and careened into the building. He was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries before being arrested and held in lieu of $100,000 bail. He has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and told one media outlet that he was sorry and that this wasn't his intention.

Other residents at the apartment building were also affected by Rodriguez's actions, though they're obviously lucky to have escaped this incident without injuries. Leaking fuel from the driver's SUV caused half of the 11-unit building to be evacuated, though residents are expected to return home today.

A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night for Giselle. We hope her family can find peace during this terribly heartbreaking time.

Do stories like these make you feel less safe in your own home?


Image via Brian Rosner/Flickr

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