A San Juan Capistrano man is accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter and injuring his three other children in a car crash Saturday that authorities believe was caused by drunken driving and high speeds.
Antolin Brito, 30, smashed his SUV into the parking lot of the Silverado Memory Care Center after driving across Camino Capistrano while westbound on Junipero Serra about 6:54 p.m., according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The SUV went over an embankment and crashed head first into a ravine, said Capt. Steve Concialdi, Orange County Fire Authority spokesman.
Silverado administrator Carole Shaw said the center’s 90 residents didn’t notice the crash because it occurred away from the living area, but staff noticed and rushed to the scene to help the family.
“It’s just very sad,” Shaw said.
Nurses were performing CPR on 5-year-old Yuliana Brito when firefighters arrived, Concialdi said. She was pronounced dead at Mission Hospital.
A 2-year-old girl was transported to Mission Hospital with lacerations and a possible fractured leg. An 11-year-old girl injured her ribs and also suffered lacerations while an 8-year-old suffered a possible fractured leg and lacerations. Brito suffered lacerations and a possible broken leg.
“Everybody was pretty banged up,” Concialdi said.
The older children were transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana because Mission Hospital didn’t have room for so many trauma patients, Concialdi said.
Grief counselors visited the scene and the hospitals to try to comfort family members, Concialdi said.
Brito remained at Mission Hospital Monday, though he was formally arrested Sunday on charges of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving. He’s likely to face additional charges related to his other children’s injuries.
Law enforcement officials sometimes wait until after a suspect is released from a hospital to arrest him or her to avoid saddling taxpayers with medical bills, but Lt. Jeff Hallock, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, said investigators believe Brito might leave the hospital to avoid arrest.
By MEGHANN M. CUNIFF / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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