Suspected Illegal Immigrant Faces Charges in Alleged Hit-And-Run Death of California Boy
Charges have been filed against an unlicensed driver and suspected illegal immigrant who allegedly killed a 4-year-old boy in a hit-and-run accident, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The newspaper reports that prosecutors in Sonoma County charged 22-year-old Marcos Lopez Garcia with felony hit-and-run, two misdemeanors and vehicular manslaughter, among other charges, in the Thursday death of Christopher "Buddy" Rowe of Santa Rosa.
Garcia had two prior arrests for driving without a license, according to the newspaper.
Christopher was reportedly killed on his way to soccer practice while crossing the street with his mother and two sisters, including the boy's twin.
"Little Buddy will be remembered as an energetic, curious, active young boy, who was also kind, compassionate and caring, especially with his twin sister," the family said in a written statement. "We will always remember his ever-present smile, beautiful steel-blue eyes and peace-loving nature.
"The man who stole Buddy's life from us will be one day free, but we will always carry the burden of losing him forever," the family said.
Garcia is being held in the Sonoma County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
SANTA ROSA -_- Sonoma County prosecutors filed charges Monday against an allegedly unlicensed driver who authorities say ran over a 4-year-old boy in a Santa Rosa crosswalk and sped off.
Marcos Lopez Garcia, 22, was charged in Superior Court with felony hit-and-run as well as two misdemeanors, vehicular manslaughter and driving without a valid license. He made an initial court appearance Monday but did not enter a plea.
Garcia, who is being held without bail because federal officials suspect him of being an illegal immi_GRANT, has two previous arrests for driving without a license, records show. Five days before Thursday's crash, police said, he was told not to drive until a court appearance in October.
Garcia was charged in connection with the crash that killed 4-year-old Christopher "Buddy" Rowe of Santa Rosa, who was on his way to soccer practice.
Christopher was hit at about 6 p.m. at West Ninth Street and Rockwell Place near Jacobs Park while crossing with his mother, his twin sister and his 6-year-old sister. He clung to life at Children's Hospital Oakland, but "his heart finally gave way" Friday morning, his family said in a statement Monday.
"Little Buddy will be remembered as an energetic, curious, active young boy who was also kind, compassionate and caring, especially with his twin sister," the family said. "We will always remember his ever-present smile, beautiful steel blue eyes and peace-loving nature.
"The man who stole Buddy's life from us will be one day free," the family said, "but we will always carry the burden of losing him forever."
Christopher and his family were crossing West Ninth in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by a westbound Honda Accord, police said. The car drove away from the intersection, which has no stop signs or signals.
Soon, a 47-year-old Santa Rosa man named Leroy Flach - who heard about the crash on his police scanner - spotted the car at Finley Park, less than a mile from the crash. He said he had called police after he saw the driver peeling off an orange San Francisco Giants decal from the rear window.
The man got into a Volvo driven by a woman, Flach said. He relayed the license plate number to police, who by 8 p.m. had found and arrested Garcia, 22, who lives near Jacobs Park.
Christopher is survived by his parents, James Rowe Jr. and Michelle Rowe; his older sister, Mimi; and his twin sister, Julia; as well as grandparents, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Eugene's Cathedral in Santa Rosa.
The family asks that condolences and donations be sent to the Christopher Rowe Memorial Fund, 1007 W. College Ave., No. 313, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. For more information, go to www.christopherbuddyrowe.com.
E-mail Demian Bulwa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page C - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle