Man Convicted in DUI Crash That Killed Toddler
Angel Alberto Cruz Perez was found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence and hit and run
in the November 9th crash.
The 24-year old Santa Ana man faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in state prison.
Prosecutors allege Perez and a friend went to Santa Ana restaurant where they consumed 24 bottles of beer between them.
After leaving the restaurant, Perez got behind the wheel of his 1998 Toyota 4-Runner.
He was driving northbound on Bewley Street near Fifth Street when he ran a stop sign and struck Yesenia Romero and her children, prosecutors say.
The young mother was carrying her 1-year-old daughter in her arms and was holding the hand of her 2-year-old son, Darwin.
The mother told police she yelled at the driver to stop, but he hit entire family.
The boy was pulled under the car. The mother and daughter flew up on the hood and fell to the ground.
“I heard the screeching sound of a car coming down the street,” said witness Diana Delgado.
“This lady was laying down with her kid in her arms. The paramedics came and he was full of blood.”
Paramedics rushed the boy to UCI Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The mother and daughter’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Alert witnesses followed Perez as he tried to speed away. They took down his license plate number and reported it to police.
Officers caught up with Perez shortly after and arrested him.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in state prison.