Angel Alberto Cruz Perez, now 24, knew that he had hit something on that fateful November night. He had just been drinking at a restaurant when he got behind the wheel of his SUV and drove off into the night. He sped his Toyota through an intersection in Santa Ana, California, and hit three people: a mother, her daughter whom she was holding, and her son, who was just a toddler. The mother, Yesenia Romero, flew onto the hood of the vehicle, all the while holding her 1-year-old. Her son, who was just two years old, was pulled under Perez’s vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Fortunately, Romero only suffered minor injuries and her baby was not hurt.
Perez drove away. He didn’t stop to see the damage he had done and face the consequences. Luckily, witnesses had written down his license plate number, and he was later arrested. He was finally convicted, over a year later, in March. Convictions include a felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while driving and hit and run with permanent injury or death.
With the weekend upon us, and nice weather too, it’s important to stay off the roads if you’ve had a few to drink. Taxis are affordable, designated drivers are free, and lives are priceless.