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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A 50-year-old man is facing possible jail time and a fine after being charged in the death of a four-year-old on Halloween in northeast Columbus.
The office of Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced Tuesday morning that Lazaro Becerra has been charged with vehicular homicide and manslaughter after being accused of driving through an intersection and hitting a girl and woman who were out trick-or-treating, resulting in the girl’s death.
On Oct. 31 close to 7 p.m., Columbus police say the pickup truck drove through the intersection of Westerville Road and Valley Park Avenue while the child and the woman with her were walking through the crosswalk. The child was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 9:30 p.m. The woman, who police say is in her 30s, was transported in critical condition.
CPD and the city attorney’s office said the crosswalk lights for pedestrians to cross the intersection were on at the time of the crash.
“Anyone who operates a vehicle carelessly or recklessly on our city streets will be held accountable, especially if that operation threatens public safety or results in injury or the tragic loss of an innocent life,” said Klein in a statement.
Klein’s office states Becerra could face six months of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. NBC4 spoke to residents living in the area in November who expressed concerns about pedestrian safety in the neighborhood.