RIO LINDA (CBS13) – Family says the baby who had to be delivered early after her mother was hit by a DUI suspect has died.
Ciara Villegas was six months pregnant when a car plowed into her car Monday night, sending her flying down a Rio Linda street. Doctors had to perform an emergency C-section and the baby, Ricky (RJ), was delivered.
Thursday, the family confirmed that RJ had died. Sacramento County Coroner records show the baby died on Wednesday, less than two full days after he was born.
Villegas is undergoing surgery on Thursday, the family also said.
“We loved him from the beginning we couldn’t wait for my daughter to have another baby,” said Ciara’s mom, Latisha Strainese outside of the hospital Thursday.
Villegas had been struggling with pregnancy and her mom told CBS13 she has had multiple miscarriages, which makes RJ’s loss even more difficult.
Ciara’s sister, Mercedes, had been in the hospital alongside the baby while Ciara underwent multiple surgeries.
“I watched him die and I watched his body turn a different color. I want to see justice for my nephew and for my sister,” Mercedes said.
The driver who caused the crash, Ronny Haines Ward, has been arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was booked into Sacramento County Jail, but records show Ward has since been released from custody.
CBS13 has confirmed that Ward declines a breathalyzer at the scene of the crash, opting for a blood test instead. It can take up to 30 days to get lab results, and without them, the District Attorney says they simply do not have enough evidence to charge him with a DUI.