MARYSVILLE, OHIO: A man who accidentally killed his 4-year-old son after running over him with his van was leaving a construction site he’d been stealing from when the boy was struck, a prosecutor said Friday as new charges were announced against the father.
Natividad de Jesus Hernandez also had a forged international driver’s license and forged permanent resident card, said Union County prosecutor David Phillips.
An indictment filed Friday charges Hernandez with aggravated vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter and two counts of forgery in addition to leaving the scene of the accident.
The theft from the construction site is contained in the involuntary manslaughter charge, Phillips said.
“When there is a death, when it involves a child, it’s obviously very, very emotional,” Phillips said. “We considered long and hard in terms of how to charge this.”
The charges are disappointing but not unexpected, and all will be fought, said Hernandez’ attorney, Scott Culbert.
“We’d like for Mr. Hernandez to be able to be with his family, to mourn and try to start getting over the loss of his son,” he said.
Culbert denied Hernandez was stealing from a construction site.
Hernandez, 30, initially was charged with leaving the scene without speaking to authorities after his son was struck when he fell out of the van on Dec. 26 northwest of Columbus. The boy, Angel Hernandez, was not wearing a seatbelt, officials said.
Video from a sheriff’s deputy dash cam shows authorities arriving at the scene, taking the child from Hernandez, then leaving the father by the side of the road with the van and his girlfriend’s children.
Culbert says the video makes clear that Hernandez didn’t leave the accident scene. Phillips has said police expected Hernandez to follow them to the hospital. Instead, he showed up two hours later after a search for him had been launched.
Hernandez, from El Salvador, is in the United States illegally, authorities said. He is being held on $500,000 bond with an additional hold from the federal government.