Angel Perez (Orange County district…)
A Santa Ana man was sentenced Friday to 16 years in prison for killing a 2-year-old boy in a drunk driving crash and fleeing the scene.
Angel Alberto Cruz Perez, 24, left a restaurant where he had been drinking with a friend on Nov. 9, 2011, according to prosecutors.
Driving a a Toyota SUV, Perez sped through an intersection at North Bewley and 5th streets in Santa Ana, striking a woman crossing the street with her daughter in her arms and a toddler by her side.
The woman, Yesenia Romero, was knocked onto the hood of the vehicle with the 1-year-old girl, and the toddler was pulled underneath the SUV, prosecutors said.
The children’s father, who worked across the street from the accident, heard the commotion and ran outside to find his family. Witnesses contacted police with Perez’s license plate number, prosecutors said, and the suspect was arrested at his home.
Romero suffered abrasions to her knees and the boy was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Her daughter was not injured.
Perez was convicted in March of a felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, hit and run with permanent injury or death and a misdemeanor count of driving a vehicle without a license, prosecutors said.
During the sentencing, Romero delivered an emotional victim impact statement and said she missed “waking up and seeing her son” in the morning.
“She went on to describe her emotional pain when having to explain to her daughter why her brother is no longer with her,” according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.
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