A suspect in a drunken-driving hit-and-run accident in California that sent a 6-year-old boy to the hospital with severe head trauma over the weekend was an illegal immigrant with a criminal history who has been deported from the US at least 15 times. Constantino Banda-Acosta, 38, has been arrested and charged with DUI resulting in bodily injury, hit-and-run with an injury – both felonies – and a misdemeanor driving without a license in connection to a crash that took place in San Ysidro Saturday night.
According to police, Banda-Acosta was driving his Chevy Silverado pickup truck at a high rate of speed on Camino de La Plaza at around 11:30pm when he blew past a stop sign at Dairy Mart Road and smashed into a Honda Accord carrying the Lake family, who were returning home from a trip to Disneyland. The collision took place just a block away from the family’s home. The driver of the speeding pickup truck did not pull over to render aid, officials said.
The victims’ Honda Accord sustained the heaviest damage on the driver and rear passenger’s side, where Lennox Lake was riding in his car seat, relatives told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Ingrid Lake, the boy’s mother, scrambled out of the car and rushed to her son, who was unconscious, not breathing and bleeding from his nose, ears and a wound on his head.
Lennox was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, where so far he has undergone two surgeries to stitch up a gash above his left eyebrow and to remove pieces of broken bone from his head, which entailed peeling back his scalp and opening his skull, according to the description of a GoFundMe campaign started by the victim’s aunt, Sandi Lake Taylor.
In a later update, the aunt said Lennox will have to spend more than 10 days in the hospital getting treated with antibiotics for an infection in his cranium. Lake Taylor is hoping to raise $50,000 to help her brother and his family with her nephew’s medical expenses. So far, about a quarter of the goal amount has been collected in donations. Lennox’s family, inclduing his parents who suffered minor injuries in the collision, are cautiously optimistic about his prognosis.
He has two older brothers, aged 14 and 16, who did not go with the family to the amusement park on Saturday. Banda-Acosta, a Mexican national living in the US illegally, was apprehended about 30 minutes after the crash by US Border Patrol agents, who came upon a wrecked Chevy pickup truck that matched the description of the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle given to them by Ingrid Lake.
The vehicle was found to contain two men, among them Banda-Acosta, who was identified as the driver. He was booked into jail on $100,000 bail pending his arraignment Wednesday. Border Patrol agents said both occupants of the Chevy were undocumented aliens. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement records show that since 2002, Banda-Acosta has been deported at least 15 times back to Mexico, most recently in January of this year.
His prior criminal record includes arrests on charges of domestic violence involving his wife of 18 years, who lives in Chula Vista. The woman told the station 10News her estranged husband was deported from the US on or around January 10, but returned 10 days later. He was arrested in 2006 on a drunken-driving charge and had his license suspended three separate times.
ICE plans to have the 38-year-old deported again after his latest DUI case is settled.
Source: Daily Mail