A family is mourning the death of a newborn after the baby's mother was involved in a car crash with a suspected drunken driver.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed the baby's death with ABC10, while adding that no charges have been filed against the driver, Ronny Ward III, at this time due to the ongoing investigation.
"Unfortunately, I can’t comment on any pending charges until the investigation is completed, which could take some time," a CHP official said.
The crash happened just after 8 p.m. Monday near M Street and 4th Avenue in Rio Linda. Police say Ward, 24, was driving when he suddenly veered to the right for an unknown reason and collided with a parked Chevy Impala which was then pushed into 31-year-old Ciara Villegas. She was six months pregnant at the time.
Villegas was taken to a local hospital where she had an emergency C-section. The baby, whom the family called "RJ," died Wednesday night. Villegas remains in the hospital in critical condition, authorities say.
Police arrested Ward at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. He was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. Sacramento County records show Ward was released from custody Wednesday night. The crash remains under investigation.
The Sacramento County District Attorney's office did not file charges before Ward was set to be arraigned. Their office issued this statement to ABC10:
"What we can say is that in this particular case we are in the process of gathering all the evidence. At this time, we are unable to complete that task in a matter that will allow the defendant to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today. We will continue to gather all of the evidence and when that process is complete, we will determine what if any charges are appropriate to file at that time."
While nothing can bring RJ back, Ciara's family said they won't give up on finding justice.
"I think the biggest thing now is the DA needs to do their job. We lost someone we will never get back. This man got to leave jail and go home. RJ never gets to go home. Ciara never gets to take her son home. Ricky never gets to take his son home," said Justin Smith, a family friend.
Outside the hospital where Ciara is recovering, many family members and friends came outside to share their fight for justice.
"They need to set a precedent that this is not acceptable in any community and understand there are families hurting and we need the best closure we can get. I know we are not going to be fully satisfied with anything," said Ciara's uncle Eddie Williams.
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“We need to start changing the narrative between how many drinks it takes to get to .08 to impairment. I only got to spend 15-months with him before a drunk driver took him away from me."