Man faces additional charges in connection to 8-year-old girl struck and killed in Fresno County, deputies say


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man is now facing additional charges after being arrested last Friday in connection to the death of an 8-year-old girl who was struck by a car, according to Fresno County sheriff officials.

Detectives with Fresno County Sheriff’s Abuse Unit have added two new charges to the arrest record of 51-year-old Juan Del Toro Ramirez. Deputies say Del Toro Ramirez now faces a felony charge of child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge for violating a protective order.

On Friday, Nov. 12 around 10:00 p.m., deputies and CHP officers responded to a vehicle vs. pedestrian crash on Friant Road north of Willow Avenue.

Upon arrival, officials say they learned 8-year-old Maria Ortiz had been struck and killed after getting out of her mom’s SUV and walking into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office say they determined Del Toro Ramirez was a passenger in the SUV along with his 22-year-old wife and her two daughters aged eight and two.

According to deputies, as his wife was driving on Friant Road, Del Toro Ramirez was repeatedly assaulting his wife, causing her to pull over and park.

Authorities say Del Toro Ramirez continued to attack his wife when her 8-year-old daughter Maria exited the vehicle and was then fatally struck.

Sheriff officials say the couple made a “brief attempt” to find Maria, but weren’t able to locate her until they saw law enforcement vehicles responding to the area and discovered the girl had been fatally struck.

According to deputies, the 82-year-old man who accidentally struck the 8-year-old girl immediately made a report to law enforcement and stayed on scene to cooperate with authorities.

Throughout further investigation, CHP officers say the 22-year-old wife was arrested for misdemeanor DUI and Del Toro Ramirez was arrested by Fresno County Sheriff deputies for misdemeanor battery.

Deputies say it was later determined that Del Toro Ramirez had an active restraining order and should not have been around his wife or her children prior to the incident.

Fresno County sheriff officials say Del Toro Ramirez was bonded out of jail Friday evening. Authorities say his bail was set at $85,000.

Detectives say they would like to speak with anyone who may have had contact with Del Toro Ramirez, his wife and her children before the crash. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Lindsay Kitchens with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department at (559) 600-8216.

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