Julio Ruiz, driver in Christmas Day crash in Fort Pierce that killed …

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Fort Pierce Police Department’s Ed Cunningham describes a fatal accident that killed a 9-year-old boy on Christmas, which is also his birthday. Video posted Dec. 25, 2017, by Emily Bohatch, TCPalm

FORT PIERCE — The man driving in a car crash that killed 9-year-old Issac Santillan on his Christmas birthday told a traffic homicide investigator he was drinking and taking pills that night, an affidavit for a search warrant showed.

The search warrant was issued for vials of blood taken from the driver, Julio Cesar Ruiz, 29, at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, where he was treated after the 4:30 a.m. crash.

More: Driver in Christmas Day crash that killed 9-year-old boy had license revoked after DUI

Ruiz, of the 600 block of Ixoria Avenue, was arrested Friday by Fort Pierce police on charges of violating pretrial release in a pending felony case, according to his arrest affidavit.

Ruiz was out on bail for grand theft auto charges filed in September, and Florida law allows pretrial release to be revoked if there is “probable cause to believe that defendant committed a new crime while on bond for another offense.”

Several charges related to the crash are being considered by the State Attorney’s Office, but none have been filed.


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Maria Valladares is comforted by her boyfriend, ClaudioAlani Ruiz, 6, and Issac Santillan, 9.Maria Valladares with her children, Issac, Maria andIssac Santillian, 9, holds his youngest brother, Julian,Alani Ruiz, 6, and Issac Santillan celebrated Issac'sAlani Ruiz, 6, and Issac Santillan, 9.Alani Ruiz, 6, and Issac Santillan celebrated Issac's

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Family, friends remember 9-year-old who died in Christmas Day crash at candlelight vigil

New details in the search warrant show Ruiz was driving at least 77 mph on Cortez Boulevard when he began skidding in the wrong lane. He then blew through a stop sign where the road ends and hit a parked truck across the intersection from Sunrise Boulevard, the warrant said.

The speed limit on the road was 30 mph. A firefighter said nobody was wearing a seat belt, according to the warrant.

Issac Santillan, 9, of Fort Pierce, was pronounced dead on the scene. Santillan’s 6-year-old sister, Alani Ruiz, was taken by helicopter to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach with a broken arm and leg. She returned home Dec. 28, her mother said.

Julio Ruiz and his girlfriend, Yanira Berlanga, were both hospitalized with serious injuries after the crash.

More: 9-year-old boy dies in fatal Fort Pierce crash on Christmas — which was also his birthday

The truck Ruiz hit had extensive front-end damage. He was traveling about 39 mph at the time of impact, the warrant said.

“The F-250 was pushed backward and sideways approximately 20 feet upon impact,” according to the warrant.

The black Toyota Corolla driven by Ruiz was heavily damaged, as well. Both passenger doors were removed by the St. Lucie County Fire District.

The interior was “destroyed from the impact, with blood and brain matter scattered throughout the vehicle,” the traffic homicide investigator said.

A firefighter said Ruiz was out of the vehicle when he arrived, Alani was in the back driver’s side seat crying, while Issac was lying on top of the passenger seat headrest. Berlanga was wedged between the dashboard and the floor on the front passenger side, the warrant said.

“He further stated the entire vehicle smelled like alcohol and none of the passengers were seat belted at the time of the crash,” the warrant said.

More: Illinois man killed after rollover crash on Turnpike; teen, woman hospitalized


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Oveda Taylor (from left), Soirnilia Pierre and MeganMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez andMourners gathered at the intersection of Cortez and

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Eighth-grader in fatal crash had ‘bright, bright soul,’ his mother says

Ruiz’s blood was drawn as part of medical treatment.

St. Lucie County Judge Philip J. Yacucci Jr. ordered the blood be seized for testing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Past arrest

Ruiz had his Florida driver’s license revoked after a 2011 DUI, court records show.

He was found guilty in 2011 of driving under the influence after crashing a car into a tree in Fort Pierce about 5 a.m., according to his arrest affidavit.

That crash, in the 1000 block of Ohio Avenue, was about a mile from the crash that killed Issac.

Ruiz remained Monday in the St. Lucie County Jail without bail.

More: 4-year-old Fort Pierce girl killed after being thrown from car in crash on U.S. 1

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/crime/st-lucie-county/2018/01/08/driver-christmas-day-crash-killed-9-year-old-boy-arrested-blood-tests-ordered/1011826001/

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