RIO LINDA, Calif. — Update:
ABC10 has learned that the baby has died. According to CHP, “no charges have been filed [against 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 Sacramento mother and her baby boy are fighting for their lives at the hospital Monday night after being struck by a suspected drunk driver in Rio Linda, police say.
The crash happened just after 8 p.m. Monday near M Street and 4th Avenue. Police say 24-year-old Ronny Ward III was driving in a Jeep westbound on M Street when he suddenly veered to the right for an unknown reason and collided with a parked Chevy Impala.
Ciara Villegas, a 31-year-old who was six months pregnant at the time, was standing at the left front of the Impala. The collision pushed the Impala into Villegas.
Villegas was taken to a local hospital where she had an emergency C-section, the family told ABC10. Both Villegas and her infant son remain in the hospital in critical condition, authorities say.
"She’s a fighter. She loves life to the fullest. She’s very humble. She loves God with all her heart. She’s so happy to get ready to have a baby. She is so happy. For this to happen, it's overwhelming," said Arleen Reyes, Villegas' Aunt.
Villegas is improving daily, while her baby, RJ, remains in critical condition.
"It's going to be a long road for her recovery and like I said, it's something that no one can really prepare for," said long-time friend Justin Rich, who has set up a GoFundMe for Ciara and her family.
Villegas' family said she is a woman of faith, and they believe in forgiveness.
"Our message of hope would be to forgive and to take the good from the bad and to spread the word to stop drinking and driving," Reyes said.
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. The crash remains under investigation.
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