A 6-year-old Santa Ana boy died at the hospital Monday following a T-bone crash where his uncle and another driver were both suspected of driving under the influence, officials said.
Santa Ana police and the Orange County Fire Authority responded to a collision around 12:45 p.m. at the intersection of South Bristol Street and West St. Andrew’s Place.
D. Cote, 54, of Santa Ana was driving a BMW headed westbound on West St. Andrew’s Place. Cote entered the intersection with his 6-year-old nephew, I. Sandoval, sitting beside him in the passenger seat, said OCFA Capt. Stephen Horner.
A. Duran, 35, of Santa Ana was driving a Nissan Maxima through the same intersection, headed southbound on South Bristol Street before he T-boned the passenger side of the BMW, said Horner.
As the BMW entered the intersection, the boy’s uncle, Cote, failed to yield the right-of-way to the driver of the Maxima.
Footage captured moments after the crash caught Good Samaritans calling out to the boy, and trying to free him from the mangled wreckage.
Sitting in the front passenger seat, Sandoval, 6, took the brunt of the crash. The boy was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in full cardiac arrest, but he died on the operating table.
The boy’s family and friends described him as a loving little boy who loved to play tee-ball. He was a member of the Southwest Angels and would have celebrated his seventh birthday on Aug. 9.
The driver of the Nissan was not hospitalized; he was booked into jail on suspicion of DUI, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The uncle, who was also the boy’s legal guardian, was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center to receive treatment for serious injuries in intensive care; he was also suspected of driving under the influence, Bertagna said.
Based on a drug recognition expert’s analysis and Cote’s statements, the police determined that he was under the influence of a narcotic, Bertagna said.
Court records show that Cote has multiple felony convictions dating back to 1987 for possessing a controlled substance.
The driver of the Nissan, 35-year-old Duran recently got his license back after a previous DUI charge.
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