updated 1/13/2010 7:11:13 PM ET 2010-01-14T00:11:13

Investigators are trying to determine why an 11-year-old boy was driving a car that ran a stop sign in California and crashed into another vehicle, leaving him and two others dead.

The collision Tuesday night killed Jose Manuel Silva Covarrubias, his mother, Maria Silva, and 6-year-old sister, Elizabeth Silva Covarrubias.

California Highway Patrol investigators have not been able to interview the car's lone survivor to determine why the boy was driving. Family friend Froylon Gonzalez remains in critical condition.

CHP officials say neither the mother nor daughter was wearing a seat belt.

Investigators say Jose was driving the 1993 Honda when he ran a stop sign in Tulare County and was hit broadside. The driver of that vehicle had minor injuries.

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