Police in Madera, California, are searching for 31-year-old Rafael Cortez, a father who allegedly crashed his car while intoxicated and left his injured kids at the scene by themselves.
Around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, local residents said they heard a car speed by and skid when it hit a curve.
“I was sitting in my garage, and I heard the car go by. I could tell he was speeding--had to be doing at least 60, 70 miles an hour,” Curtis Willburg told reporters. Soon after it skidded off the road and into a field, the car crashed.
“And the next thing you know, you didn't hear it (the skidding) anymore, but you heard like thumping. And then when we came out, we saw nothing, but it was a big cloud of brown dirt,” Viola Rodriguez said.
The children, according to CHP officer Omar Godinez were found alone at the scene of the crash, with injuries ranging from minor to severe. Two of the kids are 7-year-old twins, and the older two are 11 and 13 years old.
“He was really bending over and crying, and then when I got closer to him, he had blood on his eye here and a big knot on the back of his head,” Willburg said of one of the children’s injuries. Neighbors reportedly ran to help the kids, calling the police as well as their mother.
“The neighbors from across the street were across the street trying to help them get out from the car,” Rodriguez said. Madera police said that Cortez’ family has not been cooperative with them in their investigation, nor have they offered any assistance in the search.
“We do know he has strong ties out of the country. We are just afraid he will be a flight risk and not be here any longer,” Godinez said. “You don't ever think a father of his children would leave his children there injured.”
Photo Credit: yourcentralvalley.com