Monday , March 4 2024

Police: Teen Driving Distracted, Faces Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in Death of 9-Year-Old Parlier Boy

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<div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Parlier police announced Monday that a 17-year-old unlicensed driver will be charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of 9-year-old Diego Estrada.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Police said the driver was distracted and driving unsafely when he slammed into a group of students on their way to school last Thursday&nbsp;near the intersection of Tuolumne and Madsen in Parlier.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Dozens gathered in prayer Monday night at the home of the young boy.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Zujey Ramirez, Diego’s 16-year-old sister, was also struck. Her injuries still visible.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">&quot;it’s been really hard knowing the fact that I seen what happened, but I’m getting through little by little. It just takes time,&quot; Zujey said.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Parlier Police Chief David Cerda held a press conference Monday to give an update to the investigation.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">&quot;We concluded that inattentiveness, distratced driving, as well as unsafe turning were some of the primary collision factors,&quot; Cerda said.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">The teen’s mother may also face charges for contributing to the delinquincy of a minor if she knew he was driving without a license, Cerda said.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">In the days since, people have visited the site of the crash every day leaving candles, balloons and teddy bears to remember Diego.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /> &quot;It really means a lot, and it gives me strength each and every day knowing that I’m not alone and that my family is not alone,&quot; Zujey said.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">She describes her little brother as a happy boy who made friends easily.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">&quot;My heart goes out to them. You never expect something like this to happen, you know/-you’re sending your kids to school,&quot; said Alma Beltran, mayor of Parlier.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">The day of the crash, the teen driver and a teen passenger were headed to Parlier High School where they are both students, Cerda said.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Although schools were on a foggy day schedule that day, police have said fog was not a factor.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">The family is now trying to stay strong.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">&quot;God did this for a reason, so hopefully something great comes out of it,&quot; Zujey said.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">The Parlier Police Department along with the Parlier Youth Centers of America have set up a donation account for the family to help pay for funeral and medical expenses.&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">Anyone who would like to donate can do so at any Bank of the West branch.&nbsp;The account is listed as the Diego Estrada Memorial Fund.</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"></div></div>

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