Friday, October 28, 2011
A driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, driving under the influence, hit-and-run and driving with a suspended license after crashing into a family in a crosswalk in Long Beach. The parents were pulling their two children, ages one and two, in a trailer when the vehicle struck them.
The wagon was caught in the wheel-well of the vehicle and was drug for a block. The driver stopped the car and the boy and part of the wagon was dislodged, but after the vehicle sped away the one-year-old daughter was drug for another mile. Even as pedestrians and other drivers screamed at the driver to stop, he kept going. The baby, Kaylee Alvarez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The description of the parents reactions, as related by the Long Beach Press-Telegram are heart-breaking for their candor and sadness:
"They guy hit us and he didn't even stop," Alvarez said. "I was going crazy looking for my kids."
Kaylee Alvarez was dragged about another mile until the driver stopped at his residence near the corner of Wilton Street and Redondo, neighbors said.
"He dragged my little girl. I wanted to run, but I was in shock," Alvarez said.
"I know he's a father and I feel bad for his family," Alvarez said of Dinkins. "But I don't understand why he didn't stop. It's like he didn't have a heart."
Almost equally shocking is the reaction of the driver, allegedly Neely Lejon Dinkins.
A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the driver pulled into the driveway of his residence, said, "I think I hit a baby," and ran in the front door.
Neighbors said a police officer shined a flashlight underneath the SUV and discovered the tiny body with pieces of the red plastic wagon. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Alvarez family has set up an account at the Wescom Credit Union for those who wish to donate for Kaylee's funeral expenses. The account number is 708248.