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Police say Porterville man accidentally runs over family members

Monday, August 12, 2013

A 1- year old child remained hospitalized Monday after a Porterville man accidentally backed over a baby and two others with his vehicle. Investigators say a faulty car accelerator may be to blame.

The crash happened on East Date Avenue near A Street in Porterville.

The individuals involved with the accident are all family members. In fact the driver told police he had no idea his car would immediately go into reverse, crashing into three relatives, including a 9-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy.

"I know the police were here last night and back again this morning and the baby apparently has a skull fracture I hear the baby is doing ok now he's holding his own so hopefully you know he'll be all right we're praying for him," said neighbor and Mobile Home Park Manager Katherine Carlson.

The crash left a man with minor injuries, a 9-year-old girl with some scratches, and a 1-year-old boy with severe head injuries. Police are calling it a tragic family accident.

"From what we understand everybody's related in this incident including the driver," Porterville Police Department Sgt. Dominc Barteau said.

Porterville police say at around 9 p.m. Sunday the driver, 74-year-old Ramon Romero, turned on his car and it immediately went into reverse at a high rate of speed. The 1994 Ford F-150 was towed to Greg's Hula Towing, where a city mechanic determined the car had an altered transmission and the ignition had been modified.

"He told the investigators when he got on scene that when he started his car it went into reverse and he was not aware that that was going to happen," Barteau said.

Carlson manages the mobile home park where the family lives. She says some of the family members are seasonal workers who like to come home after work and sit outside to have dinner, but are usually inside their house by 10 p.m.

"They're family people all really family-oriented so this is really going to be hard for them," Carlson said.

The 1-year-old boy remained in the hospital Monday and authorities say he was listed in critical but stable condition and has just started breathing on his own, hopefully a good sign for the boy's family members

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porterville, tulare county, local, jessica peres
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