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Engaged California Couple Killed After DUI Suspect Being Chased By Police Allegedly Hits Car

The love story of Aaron McDonald and Irene Jaramillo ended in tragedy on Saturday after a DUI suspect being chased by police, Alejandro Canchola, allegedly rammed into the car they were driving.

By Constance Johnson
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Last week, two California families were looking forward to the summer nuptials of an engaged couple. This week, those families are planning two funerals.

Early Saturday morning, Aaron McDonald, 31, and Irene Jaramillo, 30, were heading home from a birthday celebration for Jaramillo when their car was struck by a suspected intoxicated driver during a high speed police chase, according to KABC.

The suspect, Alejandro Canchola, 24, is now facing murder charges. He is being held at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino without bail.

Rialto Police said in a statement that the suspect was being pursued by Colton Police when he entered the city of Rialto, which is directly west of San Bernardino.

Investigators added that, while being pursued by Rialto Police during at high speeds on residential streets, the suspect ran a red light at the intersection of Randall Avenue and collided with the silver 2019 Nissan Sentra being driven by McDonald.

Police said Canchola then lost control of the 2014 Nissan Maxima he was driving and crashed into a nearby home.

Stacy Reyes was the only one inside the home and was briefly trapped, but was not injured according to KABC.

“I just heard this really loud screech from a car,” Reyes told the outlet. “I went to turn my head, and next thing I know; the car had hit the house.”

Both McDonald and Jaramillo died after being rushed to a local hospital.

Canchola and a passenger in his vehicle, Jose Castrocota, 21, were also taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

McDonald and Jaramillo were just miles away from the home they shared when the crash happened, according to KNBC.

“It’s tragic,” Edgar Ubillus, a friend of the couple’s told the station. “They had their whole life in front of them.”

McDonald was a truck driver and former high school baseball star, according to CBS News. Family members said Jaramillo had a “heart of gold,” and loved her job at Amazon.

Jaramillo’s father called them “a perfect couple.”

“When she met Aaron, she just glowed even more,” Julian Ramos told KTLA.

The couple had been together for more than five years and were planning a summer wedding.

“We were planning the wedding, and then [they’d be] raising a family,” McDonald’s father, Paul McDonald,” told the station.

The families plan to honor their love by “laying them to rest together,” according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for their funerals.

More than $20,000 has already been raised.

People have been leaving candles, flowers, and balloons at the scene of the accident.

"They had a whole life ahead of them," Javier Obando, a Rialto resident and neighbor of the couple told CBS News. "To lose a life to drunk driving is just so sad."

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