Driver With Previous DUI Convictions Charged With Murder in Death of 3-Year-Old Killed in San Bernardino Crosswalk

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An alleged drunken motorist accused of driving through a San Bernardino crosswalk and killing a 3-year-old boy in front of his family has been charged with murder, prosecutors said Monday.

Crystal Fuentes was arrested by San Bernardino police after an alleged DUI crash that killed a 3-year-old boy on April 27, 2017. (Credit: Newspro)

Crystal Fuentes, 34, of Redlands was arrested at the scene of the daylight April 27 crash on West Baseline Street at Davidson Avenue. She had at least one previous drunken driving conviction and her license was suspended, according charges filed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

The child, Michael Flores, was walking alongside his parents and siblings in a marked push-button crosswalk with yellow lights flashing, police said.

Other vehicles had come to a stop to allow the family to cross when Fuentes allegedly moved at a high speed into the center turn lane, apparently trying to get around of the stopped vehicles. Her pickup truck hit the little boy, who a witness said had stepped slightly in front of his parents.

Michael Flores is shown in a photo provided by his family.

“I saw the impact,” said Tommy Burnside, who was driving one of the cars that stopped at the crosswalk. “The bumper hit the child in the head.”

The truck was going more than 60 mph, according to Linda Daniels, who was with Burnside. The crash was caught on surveillance video from a nearby market.

Flores’ truck continued eastbound through the intersection and struck a westbound car head-on. She was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

About 10 a.m. that day, around eight hours before the crash, she had been released from an overnight arrest by Redlands police on suspicion of public intoxication, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

San Bernardino County court records show Fuentes has been charged twice with drunken driving last year, and seven times with being drunk in public within the last five years.

Last week, the toddler she allegedly struck was declared dead in the busy roadway.

The boy’s family was homeless at the time of the crash, but they found lodging that night at a Salvation Army location.

“He was a wonderful boy,” said Saint Cristin Flores, the child’s father, a day after the boy’s death. “He was the best son out there that a mother and father could ever ask for.”

The family of Michael Flores comforts each other April 28, 2017, a day after his death. (Credit: KTLA)

Fuentes has been charged with one count each of murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving while under the influence of alcohol with prior convictions, driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content with prior convictions, and one count of driving when privilege suspended for prior DUI conviction.

Fuentes agreed to a no contest plea in the two 2016 DUI cases on April 17, court records show. She was released a day later for time served, the Sun reported.

At the time of her plea, 10 days before the crash that killed Michael Flores, she was advised she could be charged with murder if she killed someone while driving drunk, according to the records.

No arraignment date has been set for the charges in deadly crash, the DA’s office said.

Fuentes is being held on $250,000 bail at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, inmate records show.


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