A Maryland man who allegedly started a high-speed road race that killed his young daughter is now facing criminal charges in connection with her death, WRC-TV reports.
Grand jurors in Montgomery County have indicted 24-year-old Felipe Hernandez of Silver Spring on charges of manslaughter by motor vehicle, two counts of second-degree assault, and driving a vehicle in a speed contest.
The grand jury also indicted the other driver involved in the deadly race, 25-year-old Gilberto Duvan Guerra Posadas of Germantown, on the same charges.
Authorities allege that on October 21, 2021, Hernandez was driving an Acura RSX when he initiated an impromptu road race with Posadas, who was driving a Honda Civic while traveling southbound on Georgia Avenue near Dexter Avenue in Silver Spring.
When the two vehicles neared the intersection at high speeds, they collided with a third car, a Ford Fusion, whose driver was attempting to make a left turn. The Acura departed from the road and struck a brick wall, according to WJLA-TV.
People around the crash site rushed to the scene to help, with one good Samaritan remembering Hernandez crying out, “Please help my daughter,” WRC-TV reports.
Hernandez’s daughter, 4-year-old Iliana Hernandez, was in the back seat of the Acura during the crash. Medics rushed her to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Authorities allege that Iliana Hernandez had not been restrained properly in the back seat, The Washington Post reports. Although she was wearing a seat belt and was in a booster seat, her restraints did not meet all guidelines for that type of seating arrangement, a county police spokesperson told the newspaper on Saturday. Rather, a child safety seat that includes a harness is required.
After the indictment, Hernandez turned himself in to police at the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit. He was later released on a $10,000 personal bond.
As for Posadas, he is presently in custody in Illinois for unrelated charges. Police also issued citations against the driver of the Ford for driving under the influence.
Steven Vinick, an attorney for Hernandez and the girl’s mother, issued a statement following the indictment.
“Felipe Hernandez and his partner, Yari Cerriteno, are devastated and are mourning the loss of their daughter. They categorically deny all allegations of any wrongdoing against Felipe. They are looking forward to being able to tell their side at the trial of this matter,” Vinick said, according to WRC-TV.
The crash site is now marked with a memorial for the 4-year-old girl.
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[Featured image: Illiana Hernandez/GoFundMe]