HomeTop StoriesFamily remembers couple killed in crash in Fresno County

Family remembers couple killed in crash in Fresno County

CARUTHERS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A memorial service was held Wednesday at the Church of Jesus Christ the Latter-day Saints in Caruthers for Paul and Mary Hardin, two missionaries from Texas who officers say were killed by a drunk driver on Saturday.

The couple had just moved to the Central Valley earlier this year and were excited about their trip, but that was taken away from them on Saturday.

Family wants six-time DUI offender, fatal crash suspect ‘in prison for the rest of his life’

Nearly a hundred people filled the church on Wednesday to commemorate the lives of the couple.

Mary’s sister Amy Lott says their entire family dropped everything and flew out after hearing the news.

“They were the most loving and close-knit family and this is really hard,” Lott said.

The couple leaves behind a large family, including their 11 children and their 23 grandchildren.

Their son Enoch Hardin says he was the first to get the call about his parents’ death and had to break the news to his siblings.

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“It was hard because of how close we are, because of the kind of love we share, it was more of a burden on my shoulders to share that pain and tap into the other emotions,” Enoch Hardin said.

The commemoration comes just hours after the couple’s accused killer, David Alvarado, made his first court appearance.

Alvarado has been convicted of driving under the influence six times in the past thirty years.

Because the Hardin family lived out of state, the judge allowed them to make statements in court during Wednesday’s hearing.

Each of them describes how their family has been torn apart.

“As long as the defendant has a mouth to drink and hands and feet to drive, he should be kept somewhere away from alcohol and vehicles for the rest of his natural life,” said Anon Striker of the Hardin family.

The Hardin children say they will mourn their parents for the rest of their lives.

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Meanwhile, Alvarado’s next court appearance will take place in June.

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