Two dead, one injured; FACT investigating crash

NOW: Two dead, one injured; FACT investigating crash

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend Police investigated a crash just after 4 a.m. Saturday morning near the intersection of Ironwood Drive and Bulla Road. According to officials, there were three victims that were all 19-year-old students of Notre Dame.

Justin Cavallo, 25, of South Bend was driving southbound on Ironwood in a Toyota Sienna minivan with a passenger.

Cavallo was driving on the outside lane when he struck the victims and then made a sharp left, hitting the front of a home in the 54,000 block of Ironwood. Cavallo had minor injuries and the passenger were uninjured.

After this initial crash, Darlene Holden, 54 of South Bend, was driving a Chevrolet Impala the same direction as Cavallo and struck at least one of the victims. Holdon was uninjured.

Two of the victims were female and pronounced dead at the scene, later identified as Valeria Espinel from Ecuador and Olivia Lara Rojas from Bolivia.

The male victim, Eduardo Jose Elias Calderon of the Dominican Republic, was taken to Memorial Hospital and is in critical condition.

Initial investigations believe that Holden struck Espinel.

Both drivers remained on the scene and cooperated with investigators.

The St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team was activated to handle the investigation.

“On behalf of the entire Notre Dame community, I express our deepest condolences and pray that our students’ families and friends may find God’s grace and solace after so shattering a loss. We also pray for a full recovery of our student who remains hospitalized as a result of the accident," said Father John Jenkins, University of Notre Dame President.

A prayer service will be held on Notre Dame's campus Saturday night at 8 p.m. to mourn the loss of the students and pray for a swift recovery of the third.

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs played a factor in this crash. Toxicology results are pending.

The investigation is open and ongoing.

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