A 6-year-old boy died on Aug. 3 after a vehicle his uncle was driving got T-boned in Santa Ana, California. Both drivers were tested for DUI, authorities said.
The child, Ivan Sandoval, was in his uncle’s car. The uncle, 54-year-old David Wayne Cote, who was also the boy’s legal guardian, was driving a BMW when he failed to yield the right of way to a Nissan at an unmarked intersection, reported KTLA.
Police determined Cote was under the influence of a narcotic based on a drug recognition expert’s analysis and a statement Cote gave, according to Corporal Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Cote was stuck in his BMW until firefighters freed him. He was then taken to the hospital.
The driver of the Nissan, 35-year-old Armando Duran, was not hospitalized but booked into jail on suspicion of driving drunk, Bertagna said. Duran had recently gotten his license back after he was charged with another DUI.
Aerial footage from Sky5 showed a child’s car seat on the pavement next to the BMW around the time of the crash.
(Photo Credit: KTLA)
The child took the brunt of the crash and was seated in the front, ABC7 reported. He was in critical condition and in full cardiac arrest at the time of his hospitalization but later died during surgery.
He would have turned 7 years old had he lived another six days.
“It’s kind of heart-wrenching to hear that a child lost their life because of someone else’s carelessness,” Santa Ana resident Martina Reyes told KTLA.
The boy’s father, Ivan Sandoval Sr., said his son was a little angel. Friends and family described him as a loving child who enjoyed playing tee-ball as a member of the Southwest Angels.
A mother of another child on the team cried as she described her experience with him on the team.
“It hurts to know that he was cut short from this world and we will miss him,” Laura Manjarrez said.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 30 people die in the U.S. every day due to crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers, or roughly one death every 51 minutes. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in such incidents, and 1,149 were children between the ages of 0 and 14.
Photo Credit: Screenshot via KTLA