Police Identify Victims in Waterbury Crash That Killed 7-Year-Old Girl

Waterbury police car

Police are identifying the 7-year-old girl who was killed and two adults who were injured when a driver of a vehicle collided with the three pedestrians on Sunday, according to police.

Police said the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident.

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 7-year-old girl, identified as Serenity Mia-Lee Perez, and a 29-year-old woman and the girl's mother, now identified as Yolanda Perez-Moreno, between it and a third vehicle.

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

According to investigators, Perez-Moreno and her daughter were transported to St. Mary's Hospital to be treated for serious, life-threatening injuries. Reyes obtained medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

The 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.

Perez-Moreno is in stable condition and remains hospitalized recovering from a serious injury to a leg, authorities added.

Reyes is recovering at home from an injury to his hand, arm and lower back, police said.

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.

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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