Police in Meriden said the man accused in a crash that killed two children had a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit.
Israel Gonzalez was arrested after police said he slammed into the back of a vehicle that was stopped at a red light on Broad Street, killing 8-year-old Lorenzo Cruz and 5-year-old Tatiana Cruz on Nov. 3.
"My little niece, the 5-year-old, was singing a song to her mother," said uncle David Valentin. "The next you know she felt the impact."
Their 12-year-old brother, Alejandro Schroder, and the children's parents, Gina Schroder and Michael Cruz, were seriously injured.
Police said Gonzalez then ran from the scene and was located at his nearby house. He's a Mexican citizen and had identification cards with a number of different names on him when he was arrested.
Gonzalez was charged with felony evading responsibility, reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle without a license. He is being held on a $1 million bond.
When he appears in court again on Nov. 18, police said he will face additional charges including two counts of manslaughter, three counts of assault with a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"They can never be replaced obviously. We just hope that he serves the maximum under the full extent of the law," said uncle Alex Cruz.
A makeshift memorial where the crash occurred on Broad Street continued to grow on Friday as people stopped by to grieve.
"It hurts and it's devastating," Alex Cruz said.
After recent developments about Gonzalez's blood alcohol level the night of the crash, the family told Eyewitness News that the crash was preventable.
"It just amazes me at how intoxicated he was," Alex Cruz said.
The family said they have received support from the community including donations.
The Cruz and Schroder Memorial Fund was established in honor of the children. People can donate to the fund:
Cruz and Schroder Memorial Fund Care of David F. Cavanaugh, VP People United Bank 1310 Silas Deane Highway Wethersfield, CT 06109
The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Meriden Police Department at 203-630-6256.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
They can never be replaced obviously. We just hope that he serves the maximum under the full extent of the law.
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