Driver Linked to Fatal Arizona Car Accident Taken into Police Custody

Driver Linked to Fatal Arizona Car Accident Taken into Police CustodyPhoenix police have announced that the unlicensed driver involved in an Arizona car accident last week that killed one young boy has been arrested and placed in jail, the Arizona Republic reports.

According to the news source, police say 19-year-old Pedro Ramirez was recently released from a Phoenix-area hospital, and is now being charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and extreme DUI.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump added that detectives have also placed the 5-year-old boy’s mother, 21-year-old Evangelina Barrios, under arrest, as she is suspected of child abuse for not properly restraining her son prior to the accident. The investigation has found that there were three child safety seats in that car- none of which were being used.

The crash occurred as Ramirez was driving northbound on 37th Avenue when he attempted to pass the car in front of him, but collided with an oncoming car head-on, the media outlet stated.

The accident came only days before a new law was signed by Governor Jan Brewer, which mandates that children between the ages of 5 and 7 must be strapped into vehicles with appropriate booster seats, the Arizona Daily Sun reports.

The law, which expands upon Arizona’s current law that requires any passenger in a vehicle under the age of 16 to wear a seatbelt, will go into effect this summer.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 106,177 car accidents across the state in 2010, 698 of which resulted in fatalities. Of all car accidents in the state, 5,489, or 5.17 percent, were linked to alcohol. Of all fatal crashes, 30.09 percent were found to be caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.