Injured boy hospitalized after hit and run; suspect deported 15 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Injured boy hospitalized after hit and run; suspect deported 15 times

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SAN DIEGO (CBS/CNS) — A trip home from Disneyland took an unexpected turn as a family of three was hit by a suspected drunk driver.  

"We heard tires screeching," said Benjamin Lake, the driver and father of the boy injured in the crash. "That's all I remember is hearing the tires screeching and then I woke up from getting hit."  

Benjamin said his wife reached in the back and pulled their son from his car seat.  

"It was just hard to see your son laying there on the ground with glass everywhere he's not looking really well and I just hope an ambulance gets there as soon as possible," said Benjamin.    

38-year-old Constantino Banda-Acosta is the driver suspected of driving drunk, blowing through a stop sign and crashing his truck into the family's car, seriously injuring their 6-year-old.  

Banda-Acosta fled the scene but was arrested about a half-hour later, police said. 

He has been deported to Mexico 15 times according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  He was last deported in January with at least 14 prior cases since 2002.  

Banda-Acosta pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges and was ordered held on $230,000 bail. He is charged with hit-and-run causing permanent injury, DUI causing great bodily injury and driving without a license. 

He faces seven years and eight months in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Christopher Chandler. 

"It's hard to know that somewhere the system is breaking down. I'm really just focused on Lennox coming home and making him happy," Benjamin said. "I'm hoping that justice does their job and things work out the right way."  

As a result of the crash, Benjamin's son Lennox suffered a major head injury and was taken to the hospital immediately.  

He suffered a major head injury and has undergone two surgeries at Rady Children's Hospital, his grandmother said. 

"He's got a couple fractures that we need to heal and some stitches that need to heal. He's on IV therapy for antibiotics," said Benjamin. "They did a culture when they cleaned out the wound and found there was an infection and he'll need IV antibiotics for the next 10-11 days."  

Doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that Lennox will make a full recovery. 

Lennox's family is by his side. 

"He's resting, he's comfortable. The pain meds have helped him fall into a little bit of sleep," said Benjamin.   

But the nightmare is far from over.  

"Right now he's got a lot of swelling," said Benjamin. "He can't open one of his eyes, so he's kind of scared about why he can't see." 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.

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