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Tulare County DA charges alleged drunk driver with four deaths

Tulare County DA charges alleged drunk driver with four deaths

Jazmin Paramo is charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated after allegedly colliding with two motorcycles on Highway 65

@TheSunGazette

PORTERVILLE – Tulare County District Attorney took little time charging Jazmin Paramo, 24, for allegedly killings four motorcyclists a week and a half ago while driving on the wrong side of the road.

Jazmin Paramo
24 years old

Announced last week, Paramo is charged with four felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one felony count of driving the wrong way on a divided highway causing injury or death, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license.

If convicted on all counts, Paramo faces up to 16 years in state prison. Paramo was arraigned this afternoon in Department 16 of the Tulare County Superior Court, South County Justice Center in Porterville. Bail was set at $400,000.

As of press time Paramo is scheduled for a preliminary hearing conference today, Aug 14.

According to a CHP collision report, on Aug. 4 officers responded to a traffic collision involving a wrong way driver, on southbound Highway 65 north of Avenue 196.  

During the course of the investigation it was determined Jazmin Paramo, 24, was driving a 1999 Infinity QX4 northbound on Highway 65 in the southbound lanes. Four victims were pronounced dead as a result of their injuries.

A county coroner release identifies the deceased as Gilbert Vargas, 48; Mitzi Rodriguez, 41; Jose Vargas, 42; and Rita Vargas, 40. Gilbert Vargas and Mitzi Rodriguez were riding a 2000 Harley Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle southbound on 65 just north of Avenue 196. Jose and Rita Vargas were riding a 2004 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle also southbound 65 north of Avenue 196. Paramo collided head on with both motorcycles. 

Paramo was transported via Sky Life Air Ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia with moderate to major injuries. Preliminary investigation revealed Paramo was under the influence of alcohol.

Gilbert Vargas was president of the Cochinos Motorcycle Club in Porterville and Jose was the club’s treasurer. 

Jose worked as a commercial manager at O’Reilly Auto Parts and Rita was a teacher at Plano Preschool in the Porterville Unified School District.  

A Go Fund Me page has been started by the family to help care for Jose and Rita’s two sons, Isaiahs and Julian. The page reads “Jose & Rita were such loving, generous, kind & hardworking people that got taken away too soon. They loved their boys so much & would do absolutely anything for them.” Since it was created on Aug. 4, more than 180 people have raised about $8,500 toward a goal of $10,000.

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