Photo: Chief Jerry Dyer, photo of Miranda behind him
On December 17th, a 23-month old baby was accidentally run over by an SUV her step-uncle was driving. Around 10:15AM, Fresno police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Fruit and California Avenue after a caller reported a hysterical woman in the back of a vehicle in that area.
When they reached the intersection, officers did not find the woman, the vehicle, or anyone who saw what the caller had described.
Hours later, police received a call from a social worker at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera. The social worker stated the child had been transported from Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno for injuries she received from getting hit by a car on West Geary Street, by the intersection the officers were dispatched to earlier in the day.
While officers went to speak with the mother of the child, 20-year old Diamante Miranda, other officers went to the site of the accident. They discovered a neighbor’s surveillance camera captured the entire incident.
Diamante initially told officer her child was struck by an unknown vehicle but changed her story to the truth when officers told her there was video of the incident. “It happens very, very quickly,” stated Chief of Police Jerry Dyer when introducing the vehicle during a press conference on Wednesday.
The video shows Diamante by the opened driver’s door while 33-year old Eddie Alvarado Miranda, Diamante’s step-brother, sits in the driver’s seat. The child wanders from the right of the vehicle to the front of the SUV, seemingly unbeknownst to her mother or Alvarado, moments before he pulls forward, out the driveway, running her over with the left front tire and the left rear tire.
Her mother instinctively picks her up and runs to a vehicle out of cameras view, Alvarado running with them. It is believed they ran to the car who transported her and her daughter to the hospital. Alvarado is seen walking back to the SUV, his hand on his head, visibly upset over what just occurred.
Alvarado was detained by in Madera by Madera Police and initially denied his involvement until being told of the video; he came clean at that point. When police located Alvarado his face was swollen, having been beaten by members of the family outraged over the incident, although he has not confirmed who did it.
He received treatment for his facial injuries before being booked into Fresno County Jail. Had Alvarado called police he could have faced a traffic infraction, less than a misdemeanor, but because he left the scene without notifying police, he was charged with a felony hit-and-run with injury, and driving without a license.
A recent inquiry into his charges revealed he remains in custody under an INS hold. Alvarado, who has been in the country for about a year and works as a field worker, has no prior criminal record. When asked why he didn’t call police, Alvarado did not have an answer. It is unknown if his resident status played a role in the omitting of police involvement.
23-month old Zayliah Medina remains at Valley Children’s Hospital suffering from broken bones, internal injuries, and major head and spinal trauma.
Photo from the Fresno Police Department