Driver Arrested for DUI After Allegedly Hitting, Killing 6-Year-Old Girl in Waterbury

Waterbury Police

The driver of a vehicle that was involved in a collision that killed a 6-year-old girl and injured two others in Waterbury on Sunday has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, police said.

Officers were called to Baldwin Street around 9:30 p.m. after getting a report of a collision involving pedestrians.

When police arrived, they said they found a van had rear-ended another vehicle parked off to the right side of the northbound lane of Baldwin Street.

Officers said the impact pushed the second vehicle forward and hit a 29-year-old woman and a 6-year-old girl between it and a third vehicle.

A 30-year-old man that was hit by the second vehicle was thrown to the sidewalk, police added.

According to investigators, the woman and the child that were hit by the vehicle were transported to St. Mary's Hospital to be treated for serious, life-threatening injuries. The man who was thrown to the sidewalk obtained medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

The 6-year-old girl was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m., police said. She was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the manner and cause of death and identification.

The woman is in stable condition and remains hospitalized, authorities added.

The driver of the van, later identified by authorities as 39-year-old Luis Loja, of Waterbury, left the scene on foot, but officers said witnesses followed him down Glen Street and convinced him to return to the accident scene.

Police said they determined Loja was operating the van while impaired by alcohol at the time of the collision.

Loja was arrested and officers said he is facing charges including manslaughter with a motor vehicle, assault with a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, evading responsibility in accident resulting in death, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, improper use of registration plate, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle without a license and failure to drive in the proper lane.

Loja was held on a $750,000 bond pending arraignment.

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