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Toddler fatally struck by suspected drunk driver

The girl and her family were hit while on a bicycle ride in Rialto.

July 01, 2008|Joanna Lin | Times Staff Writer

A toddler was killed and her mother, father and year-old brother seriously injured when a suspected drunk driver struck the family as they were on a bicycle ride Sunday afternoon in Rialto, officials said.

The suspect, Jesse Rolando Astorga, 27, of Phelan, Calif., has been charged with murder, said Lt. Joe Cirilo of the Rialto Police Department.

He is being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $1-million bail.

Astorga was fleeing the scene of a nearby hit-and-run crash when he lost control of his SUV, which jumped the curb and hit the victims, Cirilo said.

Astorga was driving north in the 200 block of Willow Avenue as the family biked south on the sidewalk about noon Sunday, Cirilo said. The children were being pulled by their father's bike in a two-wheeled basket, he said.

Cirilo said Astorga had been driving erratically and at a high speed down the road, which he said pedestrians and bicyclists frequently travel.

"He just wiped out the entire family," Cirilo said.

The girl, identified as Josslyn Dinoso-Brooks, was pronounced dead at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton less than an hour after the accident. She was less than three weeks shy of her second birthday, according to the San Bernardino County coroner's office. Police had said earlier that she was 2.

Her parents, William Dean Dinoso, 28, and Glenda Brooks, 26, and her brother were hospitalized with broken bones and internal injuries, authorities said.

As of Monday morning, Brooks was in "fair condition," said a spokesman at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Hospital officials could not comment on the condition of the young boy, who was not identified.

Officials at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center declined to comment on Dinoso's condition. Cirilo said that officers were in contact with him and that he was in "serious but stable condition."

Police found Astorga after the victim in the hit-and-run followed him for a couple of miles and notified authorities, Cirilo said.

Astorga, who authorities said also fled the fatal crash, was arrested when his SUV hit a curb and stalled.

Police and community members were "very emotional" and shocked by the fatal accident, Cirilo said.

Astorga has "not only impacted that family, [he has] impacted this community," Cirilo said.

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joanna.lin@latimes.com

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