Mother, child hit while walking

September 26, 2009 4:45:44 AM PDT
A mother and her young child were run over by a suspected drunk driver in northeast Houston. Police are now filing charges in the case. The mother and child had just gone to the store and were a few feet from their home when they were hit Friday afternoon. They were walking along Jensen when eyewitnesses say the truck ran up on the sidewalk.

The family is at the hospital with their loved ones. The 27-year-old mother and her child are both listed in critical condition. Family members close by, praying for their full recovery.

The mother was holding a bag of groceries, her son chewing on gummy worms as they were walking along this path. Police say they were about 200 feet from home when from behind, the driver of this blue pickup truck veered off the road, struck them, then ran them over.

"When we got closer to the truck we saw the lady lying on the side over there and then the little boy," said eyewitness Susie Castro.

Witnesses say when the truck came to a stop, the driver and his three passengers jumped out. The driver tried to hide in a nearby dumpster.

"They took off running to the store, so me and my homeboys took off looking for them," said eyewitness Bruce Normandia. "We found them right beside that dumpster. We got them and took him right there."

He described the condition of the man when he caught him.

"He can't even get up and walk," said Normandia.

Another eyewitness told us the men tried to hide their booze too.

"The guys in the truck, all four of them, were drunk. They started getting out of the truck. One went to go hide behind that other truck with a bottle," said Castro.

A man who saw the whole incident happen grabbed the driver and held him until police arrived.

When police arrived, they performed a field sobriety test on the driver. Our cameras caught an exclusive look at the man's stature. He had shaky balance and a troubled walk. They handcuffed him and took him into custody.

"It appears the driver is intoxicated, highly intoxicated," said D.C. Nguyen of the Houston Police Department.

Police say his three passengers were highly intoxicated as well. They seized a bottle of Cobra beer, placed behind the wheel of a nearby truck, as evidence. Police also handcuffed the three men and took them into custody.

Family members tell us their names are the victims' names are Patricia and Rigoberto Prieto.

Sister-in-law Christina sobbed at the thought of her three-year-old nephew.

"They have to pay for what they did to them," said Christina.

It's a feeling that hit home for Normandia, too.

"I got four little boys at the house. If something happens to my kids, I don't know what I'd do," he said.

We are told the 46-year-old driver is charged with two counts of intoxication assault and one count of reckless injury to a child.

Police say the driver and passengers are not from here and don't speak English. They're being held in a Harris County jail.

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