2 Men Charged After Mother And Children Killed In Fiery Crash

Two men were charged with murder after they allegedly raced through the streets of this suburb east of Los Angeles and caused a fiery crash that killed a mother and her two children.

Martin Morones, 21, and Robert Canizalez, 19, each were charged with three counts of murder Tuesday, the day after the crash.

Morones, who fled the scene, is still being sought and was charged
in absentia.

He also was charged with one felony count of hit-and-run.

The crash occurred Monday evening when a red convertible Ford Mustang allegedly driven by Canizalez and an Acura Legend allegedly driven by Morones sped through an intersection.

The Mustang broadsided a car containing the three victims, El Monte police Lt. Ken Alva said.

Authorities identified the woman as Dora Groce, 41, her son Robert, 8, and daughter Catherine, 4.

The three are survived by Stephen Groce, 44.

He told the Los Angeles Times he was totally lost without his wife and children.

"You've got an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old daughter," he said. "You don't have a lot else to look forward to, they become your life."

The force of crash pushed the family's car 50 feet into a pickup where it burst into flames.

"It was a fierce crash," El Monte Police Detective Ralph Batres said. "The explosion that resulted was immense."

Three people in the pickup suffered minor injuries, police said.

Canizalez's bail was set at $3 million.

Morones' car was found abandoned near the scene of the explosion.


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