Firefighters struggle to get Alex Galvan and Carmen Galvan-Herrera from their car

Auto accident kills two Santa Paula residents

May 11, 2001
Alex Galvan, daughter Carmen killed in accident
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe Santa Paula community is reeling from the horrific head-on collision that took the lives of a father and daughter whose family has deep and wide roots in the community. The driver of the second vehicle involved in the 10:31 a.m.crash, which occurred on Tuesday, May 8, remains hospitalized with major injuries, said Santa Paula Police Sgt. Ismael Cordero.Alexandre “Alex” Rivera Galvan, 61, and his daughter, Carmen Marie Galvan-Hererra, 41, died shortly after the accident that crushed the front of the teal-colored Ford Escort they were riding in; the third victim, 21-year-old Ilene Holder, also of Santa Paula, received major injuries when her Ford Aerostar van collided with the Escort, driven westbound by Alex Galvan.A witness told SPPD investigators that Holder, who was traveling eastbound on Telegraph Road, had reportedly been driving erratically and her van weaving side to side just before the vehicles slammed into each other. The results of routine alcohol and drug tests should be finalized Friday.Alex Galvan and his daughter Carmen were taken to separate hospitals - Alex to Santa Paula Memorial Hospital and Carmen airlifted to Ventura County Medical Center - where they were declared dead shortly after arrival. Holder was airlifted to St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard and later transferred to Ventura County Medical Center, where her condition is listed as stable.Santa Paula police and fire personnel were joined on the scene by Ventura County Fire department units, as well as ambulance paramedics.Both vehicles were facing northeast at the intersection of Beckwith Road, and people crowded on the sidewalks on each side of Telegraph Road watching the rescue operation and as fire and ambulance EMTs worked on the victims at the scene.
Onlookers included residents of the north of the thoroughfare as well as those who work at the business park on the south side, all drawn to the scene when they heard the crash.“I’ve never heard anything like it. . .it was just a terrible sound,” said a man wearing a baseball cap to ward off the bright sun. On Tuesday the heat was hovering around 90 degrees by 10 a.m.The two-lane stretch of Telegraph Road was closed to traffic and soon two helicopters arrived on scene, landing in the middle of the street on the north side of Beckwith Road. Galvan-Herrera was rushed to a VCSD helicopter for transport and Holder onto a Mercy Air helicopter after rescue workers after emergency personnel spent about 45 minutes working on extricating the victims and then frantically administering medical aid to the victims. Telegraph Road was closed for almost seven hours while the investigation into the cause of the accident as well as recreating the crash was accomplished.The large Galvan family - Alex had 11 brothers and sisters as well as five children, including Carmen - had retired after working for the Solo Cup Company in Santa Paula, which allowed him to be a paid-call volunteer firefighter for the SPFD during the 1970s. He had been active with the Knights of Columbus. Galvan reportedly had been in poor health; Galvan-Herrera, wife of Ray Herrera, has three children, ages 23, 15 and 11.Results of the autopsies on Galvan and Galvan-Herrera had not been released by the Medical Examiner’s Office at press time.Funeral services for Alex and Carmen are pending.

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