A “horrific” crash in Northern California involving a speeding drunk driver left a 14-month-old girl and her mother dead and two other children injured, police said Sunday.
The crash occurred Saturday evening in the city of Livermore when the driver lost control near a curve, jumped a curb, struck two trees and plowed into a backyard where a family was celebrating the First Communion of a child, KGO-TV reported.
“This is a horrific and unfortunate event and the Livermore Police Department offers its condolences to the families involved,” police spokesman Officer Ryan Sanchez said.
Sanchez said police Police arrested Brian Jones, 34, of Livermore on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and another alcohol-related driving count. Jones, who was treated for injuries before being jailed, could not be reached for comment Sunday. No information was immediately available regarding his attorney.
He said Jones was behind the wheel of a 2014 Corvette. The officer said as the vehicle left the roadway, he struck the toddler and her 40-year-old mother walking a paved pathway that leads from the sidewalk to the apartments.
A 6-year-old boy and another boy, 7, were in the backyard at the time of the collision. They were struck by debris from the vehicle and taken to the hospital for abrasion and complaint of pain, police said.
The victims were not immediately identified.
Ashton Nelson, 27, told the Contra Costa Times she heard a "really, loud thunder-like noise" and then ran inside with her two-year-old daughter. She said when she looked over her fence, "all I saw was a bumper in debris in millions of pieces. It was like a horror movie to me."
She said she also heard a woman screaming, "there's a baby!" and then saw a man, possibly the father, pounding on the ground in anguish.
Jones reportedly was jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail. He is due in court Tuesday.
Police arrived at the scene in response to a report of a traffic collision involving a vehicle into a structure at an apartment complex.
Police said Jones was speeding.
"Based on the vehicle and the condition of it, it appears that speed was definitely involved," Lt. John Hurd to KGO. "It's a 35 mile per hour roadway, probably much faster than that."