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Elementary School Boy Dies Months After Being Struck By Alleged Drunk Driver

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CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – A 6-year-old Citrus Heights boy has died months after he was run down by a driver of a speeding car.

Investigators say that 52-year-old Tresa Bales-Sterba was driving drunk. Now she could face more charges.

“You’re going to school, it’s supposed to be one of the safest places,” Jennifer Abransky said.

There was inexplicable pain Thursday night from friends and parents after learning 6-year-old Henry Perez-Rocha lost his young life.

“He was a good kid, he didn’t deserve to get hit by a car,” a friend said.

Young kids at Skycrest Elementary are now forced to make sense of a very adult situation.

It was back in early October that Henry and his 8-year-old brother Juan were crossing Greenback Lane near Mariposa Avenue in a crosswalk, and their mother was right behind them.

Police say Bales-Sterba was driving under the influence at 8 a.m., without an active license. She would crash into another car and hit the brothers.

“It was a shock because, you know, even though it’s been several months that he’s been in the hospital, we still held on to hope,” said Skycrest Elementary School Principal Sandy Rangel.

Rangel says counselors have been on hand, but it’s been tough.

“I think some of the younger children, they just don’t understand the terms of passing away, or the finality of death,” said Rangel.

Faith Abransky knew Henry, and says she’s sick about the news. Her mother Jennifer was as well.

“I feel bad for the family. I want them to know we’re praying for them,” said Jennifer.

Jennifer is hoping others will learn from this tragedy.

“This is what the results are. We lose a child; it’s not fair,” she said.

Juan is doing well and is back in school.

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