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Driver Held in Infant's Death

Man is accused of vehicular manslaughter after newborn dies. The hit-and-run accident led to pregnant woman's emergency delivery.

August 05, 2003|Hanah Cho | Times Staff Writer

A San Bernardino County man was being held on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter in the death of an infant whose mother gave birth in an emergency after being involved in a hit-and-run accident in Moreno Valley on Sunday night, authorities said.

Gerardo Geronimo, 21, of Bloomington fled the accident scene near Perris Boulevard and Filaree Avenue, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Geronimo was arrested Sunday after San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies located him using a license plate number obtained by witnesses, authorities said.

Geronimo also was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and was being held at Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on $50,000 bail, according to officials.

Police gave the following account of the accident that occurred about 8:55 p.m. Sunday:

A truck driven by Geronimo was headed north on Perris Boulevard when, while trying to switch lanes, Geronimo lost control of the vehicle and struck a van.

The impact pushed the van into the southbound lanes, where it collided head-on with a car driven by a pregnant woman.

A second car, which was traveling behind the first, swerved to avoid the accident and struck a telephone pole.

The unidentified driver of the first car was taken to Riverside County Regional Medical Center, where doctors performed an emergency delivery.

"Baby boy Butler," who was 38 minutes old, died at 12:40 a.m. on Monday, according to the Riverside County coroner's office.

Authorities did not know the term of the mother's pregnancy.

The woman's four other children also were taken to the medical center.

One child was in intensive care, authorities said.Along with Geronimo, a female passenger, Abigail Avila, 18, was also arrested.

The driver of the van, whose name was not released, was driving without a valid driver's license and was arrested on charges of DUI, authorities said.

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