Distracted Driver Charged in Huntington Beach Crash That Killed a 4-Month-Old Baby
In September, a driver in Huntington Beach was securing a laptop that was sliding off the passenger seat of his SUV when he crashed into the car in front of him, causing a chain-reaction accident that ejected a 4-month-old girl from her stroller and killed her.
Robert Casares, 50, was charged on Thursday with one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, and faces up to a year in prison, the Orange County Register reports.
The baby's family is from Australia and was visiting relatives in Orange County when the accident occurred.
According to prosecutors, Casares was driving across train tracks when bumps caused his laptop to begin sliding out of its case. When he glanced down to secure the computer, he didn't realize that traffic had stopped. He struck a pickup truck in front of him, which then hit a family in the middle of a crosswalk. The baby, Ruby Rose Gould, was tossed from her stroller, landing 70 feet away. Her mother, Renee, suffered a dislocated shoulder and fractured vertebrae. An 11-year-old girl broke her leg.
Casares remained on the scene and was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
It's another haunting reminder to put the cell phone/laptop/burger/puppy down.