A six-year-old California boy was left severely injured after a hit and run crash caused by an illegal immigrant who had been deported 15 times.
The drunken driving suspect was a 38-year-old Mexican citizen who had been kicked out of the U.S. 15 times in the past 15 years. Constantino Banda-Acosta was last deported Jan. 18, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Banda-Acosta allegedly ran a stop sign in the San Ysidro hit-and-run, slamming his pickup into a Honda Accord about 11:30 p.m. Saturday before driving away. He was reportedly arrested about a half hour later.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune:
The car that was struck was occupied by a family driving home after a day trip to Disneyland. They were a block away from their home when the crash occurred, a relative said.
The speeding Chevrolet Silverado hit the driver and passenger’s side where the boy, Lennox Lake, was sitting in his car seat, said his grandmother, Cheryl Lake.
The boy’s father, Benjamin, became trapped. His wife, Ingrid, crawled out of the front passenger seat and rushed to aid Lennox, who was unconscious, not breathing and bleeding from his nostrils, ears and head, his grandmother said.
The child suffered a major head injury and was taken to a hospital. As of Tuesday night, he had undergone two surgeries at Rady Children’s Hospital, Cheryl Lake said.
“Right now he has a lot of swelling and can’t open either of his eyes so he’s scared about why he can’t see,” his father Ben Lake told KSWB-Fox5. “I just really care about bringing him home and making sure he’s happy again.”
Lennox was in the rear passenger seat when a truck “came flying around the corner, wheels squealing and slammed into them. They went through a guard rail and stopped facing the opposite direction,” according to the boy’s uncle on a GoFundMe page set up to help with the medical expenses.
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After Border Patrol agents found the damaged vehicle, San Diego police arrested Banda-Acosta who was in the U.S. illegally again, despite his 15 prior deportations.
“But those are just numbers to a man who only wants to see his son healthy again. It’s tough to know somewhere that the system is breaking down but I’m really just trying to focus on Lennox coming home and making him happy. [I hope] justice does their job and things work out the right way,” Lake told Fox5.
An arraignment was set for Wednesday for Banda-Acosta, who was being held on $100,000 bail. He has had multiple arrests for suspended license and for driving under the influence in the past, as well as being accused of a domestic violence incident by his estranged wife, according to 10 News.
Reporter Adam Racusin noted that the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Diego County had no record of Banda-Acosta ever having a driver’s license or identification.
While thankfully no one died in the San Ysidro crash, it’s a shame that a six year-old and his family have had to endure the near-tragedy caused by a man who should not even have been in the country.
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