SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - A 2-year-old boy is dead after his father, who was allegedly driving under the influence, crashed in the North Bay just after midnight Sunday.
Ashely Romero-Rabben of Nevada tells KTVU her son, Jerome Jacinto, was killed in the crash.
According to the CHP, Jerome was not properly restrained in the vehicle, and was ejected in the crash.
The toddler's father, also named Jerome Jacinto, has been charged with DUI, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, child cruelty resulting in injuries of death, false identification to a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance and driving without a license.
“My son loved him so much and looked up to him ridiculously and for him not to do everything possible to make sure his son was safe, it's something I can't get over,” Romero-Rabben said.
Romero-Rabben tells KTVU Jacinto, picked up the toddler from Nevada around 7 p.m. Saturday and drove back to Fairfield.
She says Jacinto, who lives in Richmond, had texted her around 10:30 p.m., saying they had made it back to a friend's house in Fairfield and were fine.
Apparently his friend wasn't home at the time, but Jacinto was told the friend would return shortly, according to Romero-Rabben.
Romero-Rabben said she spoke with people at the home who said they tried to get him to stay, because he appeared to be too tired to drive. It's unclear if they suspected Jacinto was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Multiple people told him not to go out,” she said. “He thinks nothing phases him, like he’s invincible.”
Jacinto and the toddler left the home. Jacinto was allegedly on his way to another friend's home in Vallejo when he crashed on WB I-80 near SR 37 shortly after midnight.
Two-year-old Jerome Jacinto was ejected from the vehicle and died on impact.
A woman at the scene called Romero-Rabben. In the background Romero-Rabben says she could hear the toddler's father yelling, "He's dead. He's dead. I'm sorry, he's dead."
Romero-Rabben is remembering her son as a kind, smart and funny little boy who loved rubber duckies. She wants to make sure he has a proper burial. A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses.
“He was amazing,” she said of her son. “He lit up everyone’s life.”
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the CHP at 1-800-TELL-CHP or the CHP Solano Area Office at 707-428-2100.
At this point, additional details have not been released.