Guatemalan man illegally in USA kills Florida 5 year-old Florida girl in DUI collision


A man living in the United States illegally fled from a deadly Florida car collision in which a 5 year-old girl was killed.


Ernesto Lopez Morales, 32, a Guatemalan citizen, was speeding in a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban with his headlights off at 8:30 p.m. when he collided with the rear of another vehicle, the Polk County Sheriff said.


The vehicle, being driven by a woman with her daughter in the backseat, was pushed more than 600 feet before both vehicles stopped. First responders arrived and found the girl dead at the scene.


“A little 5 year-old beautiful baby was crushed to death,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. Had he been in Guatemala last Saturday night like he should have been, our 5-year-old little girl would have been alive.”


Witnesses said they saw Morales flee the scene on foot.


He was later found at his home. He allegedly told investigators that he drank six 32-ounce beers and left to buy more. He admitted to not having his headlights on and leaving the crash scene.


“He also told deputies he left the crash because he doesn’t have insurance or a driver’s license,” the Sheriff’s Office said.


A search of his driving history revealed that Morales did not have a driver’s license from Florida or any other state. At the time of a blood test, he had a blood alcohol level of .108.


The legal threshold is .08 grams. Morales is charged with driving under the influence, manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash involving death, DUI property damage, and other offenses.


He is being held on $22,500 bond, according to jail records.


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has initiated a hold on him, authorities said.


“This is the second person in a week that’s been killed by someone illegally in this country, Judd said. “It’s a problem.”


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