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Mourners Recall Family Killed in Crash

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hundreds of mourners, some still in a state of disbelief, filled a Lynwood church to capacity Friday for the funeral Mass of a family of six killed last week when an alleged drunk driver plowed a pickup truck into their parked vehicle.

Scores of others who could not fit inside St. Philip Neri Catholic Community Church spilled out onto its lawn as Father Jose Sanchez eulogized the close-knit family in Spanish.

Thirty pallbearers stood by waiting to carry the flower-topped caskets of Carlos Granados Gallardo, 27, his wife, Magdalena, 25, and their four children, Carlos Jr., 8, Adriana, 4, Jesus, 3, and Jose, 1.

Outside the church, where the Granadoses had been fixtures each Sunday, Sanchez said he had reminded the mourners that “we live in a world that is difficult and violent and careless and cold.”

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A short time later, James Lee Lyles, 53, the man charged with six counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and a count of drunk-driving in the crash, withdrew his request for a bail reduction hearing that had been scheduled to take place within hours of the funeral. Lyles’ lawyer, Halvor T. Miller, said his client had not known the date of the service when the hearing was set last Monday. “When he found out today was the funeral, he said he couldn’t appear in court out of respect for them,” Miller said.

He described his client, a construction worker from Rialto, as “very distraught.”

Lyles is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17. Deputy Dist. Atty. David Schorr said he would have “very strongly opposed” any reduction in Lyles’ bail.

Lyles was arrested at the scene of the Aug. 22 accident on Rosecrans Avenue near Atlantic Avenue just outside Compton. According to investigators, he had alcohol on his breath. He received minor injuries, as did a woman who was a passenger in his truck, investigators said.

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The Granadoses had just left a taco stand and were sitting in their parked 1983 Cadillac Cimarron when a 1995 Dodge Ram ran a red light, sideswiped a passing vehicle and slammed into the rear of the Cadillac. All six died instantly.

As the one blue coffin and five white ones were loaded into hearses for the trip to All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach, mourner Rene Zabala said he had attended high school with Carlos Granados in Jiquilpan, Mexico.

“I cannot believe they are gone,” Zabala said. “This has not fully hit me yet.”


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