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A two-month-old baby was killed last Thursday at the Downtown L.A. Art Walk in a tragic accident. Marcello Vasquez of Montebello was killed when a silver Cadillac DeVille jumped a curb, ran through a parking meter and crashed into Vasquez’ stroller. LAPD Sargent Jeffrey Siggers addressed the media, stating that the authorities believe the child may have his his head on the concrete sidewalk after being thrown from the stroller.
The driver is a 22-year-old Ladera Heights resident who was driving his girlfriend’s car. It appears that he was unfamiliar with the vehicle and he was attempting to reverse the vehicle when the accident occurred. At this point, LAPD authorities are calling this a tragic accident, but the family of the victim is reported angry that the person responsible for the death of their child will not be held accountable. The child’s aunt, Marlo Ortega, said “[the parents] are devastated and extremely hurt.”
The Downtown Art Walk has been criticized in the past for flooding sidewalks beyond capacity while street traffic remains as busy as always. The Art Walk’s executive director, Joe Moller, extended sympathies to the family, but declined to directly connect the incident to Art Walk.
Is it fair for this young man to walk away scot-free from any repercussions from this accident? While he did not intend to commit murder, couldn’t the authorities charge him with involuntary vehicular manslaughter? Why are the authorities not considering that criminal charge? It seems that the police considered this a true “accident” that could not be prevented. Usually, a charge of involuntary manslaughter would follow if someone commits a small crime that resulted in death. For example, someone who ran a red light and caused a fatal car accident. In this case, because the driver was not doing anything illegal, the authorities most likely believe it would be difficult to procure a conviction.
All factual information provided by the Los Angeles Times
Don Ho, LLP Serving the Riverside and Orange County Metro Areas
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