Girl, 6, ejected from car Saturday on life support

October 15, 2001|By DARREN SIMON and LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — A 6-year-old Westmorland girl was in critical condition and on life support at Children's Hospital here this morning two days after she was injured in a car accident, according to hospital officials.

The girl was flown to the San Diego hospital after the 3 p.m. accident Saturday on Highway 86 near Westmorland.

The driver of the car, Carlos Marroquin, 33, of Westmorland, was booked into county jail Saturday on suspicion of drunken driving, willful cruelty to a child and fleeing the scene of an accident.

He remained in custody this morning with his bail set at $35,000.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Marroquin reportedly drove a 1983 sedan into the center divider. When he overcorrected, the vehicle overturned and the girl was ejected.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Berger said the child was comatose after the accident and possibly paralyzed. She was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley before being flown to Children's.


Hospital officials would only say she was in critical condition.

Berger reported a witness said the driver, later identified as Marroquin, left the scene of the accident and the witness helped authorities locate the driver.

Highway Patrol Officer Hector Tavares said Marroquin reportedly walked away from the scene and was found a short time later on a canal bank.

Tavares said there were signs Marroquin had been in some type of accident, including blood on his shirt.

Marroquin was taken into custody without incident.

Other passengers in the vehicle were Viviana Gomez, 30, of Westmorland and her 8-year-old daughter. Both suffered minor bumps and bruises, Berger said. Gomez is the mother of both children and is 28 weeks pregnant.

He said both children were in the back seat but it is suspected the 6-year-old was not wearing a seat belt.

The 8-year-old reported to the Highway Patrol that Marroquin is her stepfather, Tavares said.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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