A 1-year-old girl died after being hit by a pickup truck in Salinas on Monday afternoon, and investigators have arrested the car’s driver, who fled after the accident, police said. Around 4:25 p.m. Monday, Salinas police officers responded to the 1600 block of Chico Way, where they found the girl unconscious under the rear wheel of a GMC Silverado pickup truck surrounded by family and neighbors, according to police.
The child had apparently run from her home into the path of the truck, which was backing up in a driveway, police said. The driver, Armando Bautista, 24, who was living with the girl’s family, had fled, running through a house and jumping over a fence, police said. After freeing the child from underneath the tire and administering first aid, emergency responders transported her to Natividad Medical Center, police said. She died there of severe head trauma, police said.
Officers made contact with Bautista via phone before finding him at a restaurant he frequented in a shopping center at corner of East Boronda and Natividad roads, police said. Bautista attempted to hide from officers in the bathroom of the restaurant but did not resist arrest, police said. Police determined that Bautista had been drinking and was under the influence at the time he struck the girl. He had also been driving on a suspended license, had a previous DUI on his record and was on probation, according to police.
Bautista was booked into Monterey County Jail for felony DUI, hit-and-run, and driving on a suspended license. He is being held on $500,000 bail, police said. Although Bautista was living with the girl’s family, he was not related to her, police say. Mercedes Vazquez, who lives on the street where the incident occurred, said the family was inconsolable. Police say case is still under investigation.
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