‘An avoidable collision’: toddler in critical condition following Fresno DUI crash

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after he, his twin sister, and mother were injured in a crash Sunday night in Fresno. 

It happened around 8 p.m. at the intersection of Belmont and Palm avenues. The driver of an SUV was arrested suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Police say he rear-ended the family’s sedan, pushing it into a semi-truck. 

As of Monday night, the mother and daughter are home from the hospital, but the little boy remains in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center. 

“This was clearly an avoidable collision,” said Fresno Police Lt. Rob Beckwith.

Lt. Beckwith says the driver, Ray Pittman was found to be twice above the legal limit of alcohol. 

“It’s a sad way to learn a lesson,” said Johnny’s Custom Paint owner Johnny Espinoza.

Espinoza has run his Belmont Avenue business for 10 years. He says the intersection is a frequent area of collisions. 

“You hear the screeching the brakes and the power of the cars. And that’s unfortunate,” said Espinoza.

The Fresno Police Department says in the last year, there were 11 collisions at the intersection of Palm and Belmont. Three of them resulted in injuries. 

“Alcohol impairs your ability to drive. It affects your perception and reaction time. Last night’s incident sadly, shows you what the consequences of that can be,” said Lt. Beckwith.

Espinoza prays the little boy makes a full recovery. He says he lost his own brother in a crash when he was just 16-years-old.

“It’s no fun for the family. You know, it’s something that it’s a tragedy, no matter which way you look at it when a family member dies, when somebody gets hurt like that over somebody else’s ignorance, especially when it comes down to alcohol,” said Espinoza.

Police said the toddlers were in car seats, and properly bucked in, which likely saved their lives. 

Pittman bailed out of the Fresno County Jail Monday morning. 

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