Charges have been filed against a suspected drunken driver in a crash that killed a 3-year-old boy who was walking with his mother in South L.A. over the weekend, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Gardena resident George Edward Milton Jr., 32, has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury in connection with Sunday's deadly crash, according to Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman with the DA's office.
The defendant is alleged to have been behind the wheel of a vehicle that struck and killed 3-year-old Eiden Cortez in the area of West 92nd and South Figueroa streets early Sunday evening. The little boy was walking with his pregnant mother at the time.
After veering onto the sidewalk, striking the child, Milton smashed into a home, prosecutors said in a news release. He's then accused of backing up and running Cortez over a second time.
Despite efforts by residents and first responders to save his life, Eiden died after being taken to a hospital.
Bystanders helped hold Milton at the scene before police arrived and took him into custody, according to Christopher Taylor. He told KTLA the driver tried to leave the crash site.
“The neighbors got involved and stepped in and were able to stop him from getting away," Taylor said. "He made several attempts, which is another sad issue … he was trying to get away and making matters worse.”
It appeared the driver was under the influence of something at the time, according to Taylor, who lives in a home near where the crash took place.
“He was not in his right mind, it was obvious," Taylor said. "He was … under the influence of some kind of substance or whatever it was."
Prosecutors also allege the defendant was previously convicted of property arson in 2006.
Milton's bail has been set at $130,000, according to L.A. County inmate records.
He was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, but the appearance was continued to May 23, the DA's office said.
The 32-year-old could face up to 25 years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to prosecutors.
KTLA's Dianne Sanchez contributed to this story.