The man accused of causing a crash in Meriden that killed two young children was drunk, according to police, and blood alcohol tests reveal that he was more than three times over the legal limit.
Police are also adding manslaughter to the list of charges that Israel Gonzalez, 29, is facing in connection with the crash that killed five-year-old Tatiana Cruz and eight-year-old Lorenzo Cruz, a brother and sister from Meriden.
The family of Michael Cruz and Gina Schroder was in a Subaru Legacy, stopped at a traffic light at Broad Street and Gale Avenue around 2 a.m.when Gonzalez crashed a GMC Denali into the back of it, police said.
Michael Cruz and Gina Schroder, as well as Schroder’s 12-year-old son Alejandro, were injured in the crash. Alejandro, who had been in the intensive care unit, was released from the hospital tonight. Gina underwent surgery and family members say they hope she'll be also able to go home soon.
Police have now charged Gonzalez with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle, three counts of assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
"We hope for the fullest extent of the law," said Alex Cruz, the children's uncle. "They'll follow through with everything they can do. We have confidence in the law."
Gonzalez is being held on $1 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 18, where he'll face the new charges.
Meriden police investigators are asking for help from the public in determining where Gonzalez was before the fatal accident.
In the meantime, family members are setting up a donation fund to make funeral arrangements and help pay the survivors' medical expenses.
"Their long-term needs is what we're trying to protect and help with," said Cruz. "You know they're obviously gonig to have a lot of bills and we just want to try and help and be there, with community help. That's our greatest goal."
You can send donations to:
The Cruz and Schroder Memorial Fund
Care of David R. Cavanaugh
Vice President of People United Bank
1310 Silas Dean Highway
Wethersfield CT, 06109
Anyone with any information about the crash is encouraged to contact Lt. Thomas Cossette at 203-630-6256.