CHP to seek charges in deadly Yuba County crash
Investigators anticipate seeking criminal charges against the driver involved in Wednesday's fatal wreck on Ostrom Road that claimed the life of a 4-year-old Plumas Lake boy.
Ronald Edward Berry III died at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville shortly after the car in which he was riding was struck by a 2003 Nissan Sentra whose driver ran a stop sign, authorities said.
"This appears to be an unfortunate, tragic event," said California Highway Patrol Officer Jodie Beck.
It's still unclear exactly what charges investigators will recommend to the Yuba County District Attorney's Office. The incident remains under investigation.
Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to have been factors, the CHP said.
Beck said the Nissan's driver, Jessie Campos, 19, was unfamiliar with that area of the road. "That contributed to him not stopping at the stop sign," Beck said.
Beck said Campos was "shaken and remorseful" and acknowledged running the stop sign.
Campos was driving about 45 mph east on Ostrom Road around 4:30 p.m. when he drove through a stop sign at the Rancho Road intersection and broadsided a southbound Honda Civic driven by Ronald Berry Sr., 47, of Olivehurst.
An autopsy on Thursday determined the child died of internal injuries from blunt force trauma suffered in the wreck, according to the Yuba County Coroner's Office.
The child was seated in the front passenger seat of the Honda Civic, the CHP said.
Beck said the child should not have been in the front seat and should have been placed in a child-safety seat.
However, Beck said, there is no law requiring that children sit in the back.
"But, it is the best practice," Beck explained. "We recommend children sit in the back seat until at least 13 years old."
Beck also said it appears doubtful the child would have survived the crash even he hadn't been in the front seat.
Ronald Berry Sr., the 4-year-old victim's grandfather, suffered a moderate cut on his head, but declined medical treatment at the scene, authorities said.
Campos and his passenger, 18-year-old Vanessa Franken, were unhurt.