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Family, Friends Remember Modesto Teenagers Killed In Crash

By Steve Large

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    MODESTO, California (KOVR) — A senseless act has left a community in shock. Three teenage boys from Modesto are dead after a crash that has the driver of their vehicle in jail facing vehicular manslaughter charges.

A Modesto police dash camera caught the video of the silver sedan moments before the crash, speeding down a street and through two red lights.

A nearby home surveillance camera then captured the impact of a semi-truck slamming into the car in the middle of an intersection.

Cousins Aalvin, 17, and Jayden Chhue, 15, and their friend, 16-year-old Jose Espinoza, died in the crash.

Relatives say Aalvin loved to sing and be with family. Jayden loved playing football. Jose loved soccer. Their loss still has not set in.

“I really all miss them and I hope they all come back and they have a happy smile on them,” Jayden’s sister Kayani Chhue said.

“To Jayden and Aalvin, they’re like my brothers,” friend Alijah Prince said. “To be honest, it’s crazy how they just left the world, and I really miss them.”

The Chhue family took cell phone video of a memorial for the boys inside their home.

At Modesto Indoor Soccer, Espinoza’s coach and teammates’ families were grieving his loss and preparing to host a fundraiser for the family. The loss also serves as a tragic lesson for other children there.

“He wanted to grow up to be a great soccer player because that was his passion,” family friend Mayra Gutierrez said.

“Be careful when you drive, and go with your friends,” Coach Jesus Perez said.

Dearin Koeur is the 20-year-old who police say ran the red lights with the three teens as his passengers. Koeur survived and was only slightly hurt in the crash.

He is booked into Stanislaus County jail facing three counts of vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, Koeur could receive up to 10 years in jail on the first count with a judge allowed to give the other counts additional years to stack onto the sentence.

The three teens attended Grace M. Davis High School together. The crash at 4 p.m. Tuesday would have come just after they all got out of class.

Modesto police say they have not determined whether any of the boys in the car were wearing their seatbelts.

Koeur is due in court next week. Family says, despite what the video shows, they do have empathy for Koeur, who was a close friend of the deadly crash victims.

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