Trial begins for dad accused in deadly crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trial begins for dad accused in deadly crash

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who left his injured 4-year-old son behind after the child fell several feet from his car seat to the sidewalk following a crash on a San Diego freeway transition ramp did so because he was in shock and thought the boy was dead, a defense attorney said Monday.

Angelo Fabiani, 41, faces up to seven years behind bars if convicted of child endangerment and hit-and-run causing serious injury or death in the June 2, 2013, accident that ultimately claimed the life of his son, Valentino Fabiani.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Allen Bloom told jurors that his client was taking his son back to his mother's home about 8 p.m. after a day at Mission Bay when a car cut off his pickup truck on the transition ramp from eastbound Interstate 8 to the southbound I-5.

Fabiani's truck left the freeway and plummeted 30 feet, taking out a palm tree on the way down and landing on its side against a concrete barrier, Bloom said. The tree struck Valentino and left the child's car seat dangling outside of the truck, he said.

A frantic Fabiani reached through the back window and unlatched the child's seat belt, sending his son to the concrete below, according to his attorney.

"He knew he had killed his son. He knew his son was dead," Bloom told the jury.

Fabiani, who lost consciousness after the crash, left the scene, telling himself, "I can't see my child like that," according to Bloom.

The attorney said Fabiani doesn't remember how he walked 18 miles to his Imperial Beach home in flip-flops and shorts.

The defendant eventually logged onto Facebook and wrote, "I've done the most horrible thing possible," according to Bloom. Fabiani -- who was on probation for a 2011 DUI conviction -- was arrested around noon on June 4, 2013.

Bloom said Fabiani's decision to flee the crash scene did not cause "one second of delay" for the treatment of Valentino's injuries. The child was put on a ventilator and was declared brain-dead on June 10.

In her opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio said Fabiani's decision to unlatch his son's seat belt caused the child to fall about 10 feet to the concrete. Fabiani then fled the scene "without so much as a glance behind," the prosecutor said.

Once on Facebook, Fabiani tried to find a way to get to Mexico, where his mother lives, Di Tillio said.

Fabiani told another friend, "I'm in a very bad way," according to the prosecutor.

The defendant faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

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