Isaiah Rodriguez

Speeding Off-Duty Deputy Charged After Wreck Kills 12-Year-Old Boy, Injures Sister

An off-duty California sheriff’s deputy was allegedly driving at speeds nearing 95 miles per hour when he slammed into a vehicle in a school zone, killing a 12-year-old boy and injuring the child’s sister, KABC-TV reports.

Prosecutors have now charged the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, 28-year-old Ricardo Castro, with murder, vehicular manslaughter, and reckless driving in connection with the horrific wreck.

Authorities allege that on November 3, 2021, Castro was hurtling through a school zone in South Gate when his pick-up truck crashed into a Mercedes being driven by 19-year-old Alexa Rodriguez. The teen was injured but survived. However, her 12-year-old little brother, Isaiah Rodriguez, died in the crash.

Video from a security camera shows Castro’s truck crashing into the passenger side of the car, where the boy was sitting, according to KNBC-TV.

Castro was allegedly driving as fast as 95 miles per hour despite the school zone’s 25 MPH speed limit, FOX 11 reports.

“Driving at 95 miles per hour was nearly quadruple the speed limit when school children are present,” District Attorney George Gascón said at a press conference, according to KABC-TV.

He added that such conduct shows a “conscious disregard for those children’s lives,” especially given Castro’s training and experience with the dangers of speeding. The district attorney’s office alleges that Castro has a history of violating the speed limit and just three months earlier was a passenger in a fatal wreck.

“Mr. Castro’s recklessness ended the life of a boy with an entire future ahead of him and destroyed a family,” Gascón said, according to KABC-TV. “This tragedy was preventable and should have never happened.”

Isaiah Rodriguez’s mother, Betsabe Suarez, told reporters that she misses her son and that her family has been “completely broken” by his death.

The grieving mom, who cried while making a statement, noted that three days before her son died, he expressed his desire to be baptized. She also recounted her son’s kindness, sharing that he had been helping a classmate who was the target of bullying.

“First of all, I want to say that I love my son. I love you, Isaiah, and I miss you every single day,” Suarez said, according to KABC-TV.

“My son didn’t deserve this he was only 12. I had to have his birthday without him,” Suarez added, according to FOX 11.

The sheriff’s office has relieved Castro of duty without pay. He is being held on a bond of more than $2 million and is scheduled to appear in court on February 22.

If convicted, Castro faces 25 years to life in prison.

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[Featured image: YouTube SC/Fox 11]