California father charged in accident that injured his toddler son

January 15, 2019 GMT

Lake Havasu City Police officers arrested a California man almost a year after a 2018 car accident that injured his 2-year-old child. Police say the suspect was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident.

Staff at Havasu Regional Medical Center contacted police last January after the incident occurred at a Silversmith Drive residence. The victim’s mother allegedly told police that Hector Hurtado, 20, of Blythe, entered her home in a panic, holding the child as he informed her of the accident. According to the police report, Hurtado drove his child to the hospital, where the child’s mother arrived shortly afterward. The child was reported to have suffered abrasions to his arm and face, but officers reported no serious injuries.

Officers arrived at Hurtado’s residence to speak with him later that day, the report said. While there, officers allegedly observed the odor of marijuana within his vehicle. Hurtado allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that morning.

Hurtado was with his cousin shortly before the incident, he allegedly told officers, with his 2-year-old son in the back seat of his vehicle. Within minutes of leaving his residence, Hurtado said he forgot his wallet at his home. Hurtado returned to the home, retrieved his wallet, and went back to his car, the report said. According to the police report, Hurtado began backing up his vehicle, and felt a “thud.”

Police say Hurtado appeared to have been visibly intoxicated while he spoke with officers. Hurtado was allegedly asked whether he had smoked marijuana recently, and according to the report, Hurtado replied that he smoked a “fat blunt” that morning. He said he did not smoke any marijuana after the accident, the report said.

Hurtado was administered a series of field sobriety tests, which allegedly showed mixed results. Further lab testing was completed in April, which allegedly showed him to be under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident. A warrant was issued for Hurtado’s arrest, and he was apprehended Dec. 20 by La Paz County Sheriff’s deputies.

He has been charged with misdemeanor counts of endangerment, two counts of DUI and reckless driving. Officer submitted the case for screening by the Mohave County Attorney’s Office for additional charges of aggravated assault and endangerment per domestic violence. That request was pending review by county attorneys as of Monday.