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Fresno State student who helped tutor young kids dies in crash in downtown

Luis Palma, a Fresno State student, was killed in a downtown Fresno crash on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Police arrested the driver of the truck he was in on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Luis Palma, a Fresno State student, was killed in a downtown Fresno crash on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Police arrested the driver of the truck he was in on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

A Fresno State student who was on track to graduate in the next few months died in a multi-car crash in downtown Fresno just after midnight Friday.

Luis Palma, 24, was a passenger in a truck that crashed into several cars on Fulton Street near Divisadero Street.

The crash left Palma dead on the truck floorboard, according to police. Emergency crews rushed to save him, but after finding a brief pulse, Palma died at the scene.

Friends remembered Palma as a role model and “whose positivity was infectious.”

Nu Alpha Kappa, Palma’s fraternity at Fresno State, organized a GoFundMe to help raise money for his funeral.

Palma, a senior who was expected to graduate in the spring of next year, tutored young students students as part of the Teaching Fellows after school program, according to his friends.

“He always brought light-heartedness that you could only smile and laugh about,” the statement from the fraternity reads.

The fraternity announced they are in touch with Palma’s family during the tragedy and say the membership shares the grief from Palma’s death.

“He always did his best to keep his grades in order, take pride in his culture and showed us that he was truly or brother and a part of our family,” the fraternity wrote.

Francisco Cabrera, 24, was the driver of the truck that killed Palma. Cabrera was arrested after the crash on suspicion of driving under the influence.

He also is facing a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter as a result of the crash.

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Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a journalist at The Fresno Bee. He covers the people and places experiencing economic and social inequity for The California Divide media collaboration. He grew up in the southern San Joaquin Valley and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State.
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