San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Three national days of mourning declared after students killed in San Ramón

Four students were killed Wednesday morning in an accident that occurred in San Rafael de San Ramón, Alajuela, 65 km northwest of San José.

A group of nine senior students from Julio Acosta García High School in San Ramón were hit by a driver in a Toyota Tercel while walking on the side of the road, according to the daily La Nacíon. The newspaper reported that the group had been singing a serenade, a tradition among students in their last year of high school.   

Dennis Méndez, Luis Alonso Solís and Angie Miranda, all 18, died at the scene. A fourth victim identified as 18-year-old Iván Elizondo died at Hospital Mexico. President Laura Chinchilla declared three days of mourning in the afternoon.

A fifth student, identified as 17-year-old Joxiny Hidalgo, died Saturday morning.

The accident occurred at approximately 4 a.m.

The Judicial Investigation took the driver, whose last name is Chavarría, into custody. According to La Nación, Chavarría is a 25-year-old prison guard at La Reforma Prison in Alajuela. He was allegedly driving on a license that expired in 2006, his vehicle had a circulation permit from another automobile, and the car’s vehicle inspection sticker was issued for a motorcycle.

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