A 2-year-old girl died Friday night after she was struck by a vehicle driven by a suspected drunk driver in west Modesto, authorities said.
At about 8:30 p.m., police were called to the 400 block of Pine Street just west of Martin Luther King Drive on a report that a toddler on a scooter had been hit.
When police arrived, they found the little girl in the road surrounded by frantic family members, according to Sgt. Brian Findlen of the Modesto Police Department.
The girl was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Findlen said the investigation into the incident was directed about 100 feet west of the scene where the driver of a Ford Expedition, which witnesses said was the vehicle that struck the girl, reportedly entered a home.
Police went to the home and detained the man, identified as Remedios Rodriguez Chaidez, 40, of Modesto.
He was positively identified as the driver, taken into custody and booked into Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of felony driving under the influence, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended or revoked license. The county in-custody log also shows an INS charge.
Findlen said a portion of the investigation will be focused on why the little girl was out in the street. He could not confirm whether or not she was being watched. He said family members were at her side nearly immediately after she was struck.
"It was a tragic and chaotic scene and rightfully so given the circumstances," Findlen said.
When asked about the scooter, Sgt. Ivan Valencia described it as a "Razor-type" brand, but could not be specific. He said reports indicate the toddler was not wearing a helmet.
Findlen said the identity of the child would not be released until all family members had been notified.
He said additional charges against the driver could be forthcoming.
We'll have more on this story later today.