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Driver arrested for DUI and vehicular manslaughter after killing a young mother in Hesperia

HESPERIA, Calif. ( — A 41-year-old Adelanto man was arrested for DUI and vehicular manslaughter after a crash that left a young mother dead and her children hospitalized in Hesperia.

On Thursday, May 11, 2023, at approximately 6:31 p.m., deputies from the Hesperia Police Station and rescue personnel from the San Bernardino County Fire Department responded to a traffic crash on Highway 395, north of Poplar Street.

Jose Vargas was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe north on US-395 and Lisette Villasenor, 36, a resident of Victorville, was driving a 2018 Toyota Prius south Highway 395. Villasenor’s two children were passengers in her vehicle.

us highway 395 two vehicle accident major injuries

Sheriff’s officials said Vargas drove his Tahoe into oncoming lanes of traffic in front of Villasenor, causing a collision. Vargas was identified and contacted at the scene and was not injured.

Villasenor and her children were transported to a regional trauma center by two medical helicopters and a ground ambulance.

Villasenor sustained major injuries and despite life-saving measures, she was later pronounced deceased at the hospital. Villasenor’s children suffered moderate to major injuries.

us highway 395 two vehicle accident major injuries
(The male from the SUV was placed in handcuffs shortly after the accident and placed into the back of a patrol vehicle. Hugo Valdez,

“During the investigation, deputies determined Vargas was under the influence of alcohol and over the California legal limit at the time of the crash. Vargas was booked at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony DUI,” stated sheriff’s officials.

According to friends, Lisette was on her way to the final day of cheer tryouts at Cali Ontario with her 6-year-old son Daniel and 12-year-old daughter Ashley when they were hit by a reckless drunk driver.

(The second Mercy Air helicopter preparing to land on US Highway 395 and airlift a person injured in a traffic accident. Hugo Valdez,

A Gofundme account was created on behalf of the California Allstars Cheer to help the family of Lisette during their time of grieving. According to the account description, “The funds will go toward Lisette’s funeral expenses, and medical bills for Ashley’s 6-year-old little brother, Daniel, who is in ICU fighting for his life.”

Lisette Villasenor
(Lisette Villasenor  — Facebook)

“Ashley will never be able to hug her mom again. We will never scream, shout and cheer for Cali -O teams alongside our quiet and passionate cheer mom, Lisette, again. A drunk driver stole Lisette’s future with her husband Humberto and three children Ashley, Julian, and Daniel. I would like to ask everyone to please wrap their arms around our cheer family and spread love and light. If you are able, please donate as the family needs support,” stated Lynette Bowen, the account organizer.

Donations can be made via the following link: Funeral expenses for the untimely loss of Lisette


The affected portion of Highway 395 between Poplar Street and Main Street was closed for several hours while deputies processed the scene.

Anyone with information, or anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to contact the Hesperia Police Station, or We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME/

Related Article: Highway 395 in Hesperia closed Thursday night due to a major accident investigation

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