The driver involved in an alleged DUI crash that took the life of a woman and her baby when a car crashed into an apartment in Livermore Saturday evening was at a wine festival prior to the crash and has already been released on bail, according to police.
Brian Jones, a 35-year-old Livermore resident, allegedly lost control of his vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol.
Preliminary tests indicate that Jones was driving with a 0.13% blood-alcohol content or higher, according to Officer Ryan Sanchez.
Investigators believe Jones had been drinking at the Livermore Wine Country Festival prior to the crash, which occurred at roughly 6:50 p.m. Saturday in the 900 block of Murrieta Boulevard.
A 40-year-old woman from Seaside and her 14-month-old daughter were pronounced dead at the scene. They had been with their families in the apartment's backyard when the crash occurred.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin, according to officials with the Alameda County coroner's bureau.
Two boys, ages 6 and 7, were also taken to a hospital in stable condition after the crash, according to police.
Jones was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury.
"We know that he was at the wine country festival, but we don't know what time he left," Sanchez said. "They stopped serving alcohol at 5 p.m. and the crash happened about an hour and 50 minutes later."
Sanchez said that the wine festival is permitted by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and vendors receive training about serving intoxicated individuals. Livermore police also maintain a presence at the festival, identifying visibly intoxicated people and helping them find sober rides, according to Sanchez.
There are unanswered questions about when Jones stopped drinking and what he did after leaving the wine festival, according to Sanchez, but police will be looking into those questions as the investigation continues.
"With a crime of this magnitude we focus on the collision itself and then over time we branch out," Sanchez said.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or has additional information about the events that led up to the fatal incident is asked to contact the Livermore Police Department at (925) 371-4777.
Livermore: $11,000 raised for family of mother, daughter killed in crash
By Joyce Tsai and Rick Hurd [email protected]
Posted: 05/04/2015 07:51:15 AM PDT
| Updated: about 14 hours ago
Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident on Murrieta Boulevard near Fenton Street in Livermore, Calif., on Saturday, May 2, 2015.
Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident on Murrieta Boulevard near Fenton Street in Livermore, Calif., on Saturday, May 2, 2015. (Jane Tyska, Bay Area News Group)
Livermore: Suspected DUI driver plows into apartment complex, killing woman and child
LIVERMORE -- With tears in her eyes, Rosa Maria Morales looked upon the collection of stuffed animals, candles and flowers at her apartment building on Murietta Boulevard.
"There are no words for this," she said. "She was talking to me, and the car just came and took her out."
On Saturday, Morales' family was hosting a barbecue to celebrate her son's communion and her daughter's birthday. Just as they finished eating, a Chevrolet Corvette shot over the curb, hitting and killing Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez, 40, and her 1-year-old daughter, Yulidia Perez-Morales, known affectionately as Yuli.
Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez, 40, and her 1-year-old daughter, Yuli.
Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez, 40, and her 1-year-old daughter, Yuli. (Contributed/gofundme.com)
Brian Jones, 35, of Livermore was arrested on suspicion of two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury. Jones was treated for his injuries and booked into Alameda County Jail. He posted $350,000 bail and was released. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a fundraising website to help the victims' family had raised over $13,000 as of Monday afternoon.
"Everything happened so quickly. I still feel like I'm dreaming," said Morales. "It feels like it's not real what happened to us."
Morales said she was talking to Morales-Rodriguez, the aunt of her 8-year-old son, Carlos, when the car came barreling toward them out of nowhere.
"She was talking to me, and the car just came and took her out. Pieces of the car were flying. I just felt like I was in shock. I didn't know what to do."
Morales said she started to scream,"Where are the children? Where are the children?" Most were inside, but Carlos was pinned underneath part of the busted fence.
"He was covered with oil, and he had dirt in his mouth and eyes," she said.
Morales said her husband, Juan Morales, was able to pull their son out.
Family members said the victim's husband, Gil Perez, remains distraught.
"He's very distressed," Juan Morales said. "He prays for his daughter and his wife. He still screams his daughter's name again and again: 'Yuli! Yuli.' " Rosa Berenice, 19, said tearfully, "I felt like it was my fault because they were there for my birthday.''
By late afternoon Monday, 363 people had donated $13,496 on a Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/tnamy8. According to the site, Yulidia was 14 months old.
"It's such a tragedy," said Santiago Hernandez, a family friend who started the page. "We are all just trying to do the best we can."