L.A. Sheriff's Deputy Charged with Murder in Fatal Crash that Killed 12-Year-Old Boy

According to the GoFundMe page, Isaiah Rodriguez was “an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Kings and Raiders"

Isaiah Rodriguez
Isaiah Rodriguez.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy involved in a crash that killed a 12-year-old boy and injured others was charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter Wednesday.

Ricardo Castro is accused of driving his pick-up truck at a high rate of speed at about 3:55 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2021, and plowing into a vehicle making a left turn, killing Isaiah Rodriguez and injuring his 19-year-old sister Alexa.

According to a GoFundMe page, Isaiah was pulled from the wreckage by firefighters in South Gate before he and his sister and two others were taken to the hospital.

"Our nephew was treated by an incredible group of doctors, nurses and staff at Long Beach Memorial Hospital," the page states. "But, the point of impact was his front passenger door, which caused severe injuries to his head, brain and abdomen. The entire emergency room team worked tirelessly to save his life — restarting his heart three times during transport and intake. Despite their heroic efforts, he succumbed to his injuries that evening."

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said Castro "showed a conscious disregard for the lives and safety of the people of South Gate by recklessly speeding on a busy street."

"The behavior is even more confounding since this happened in an area designated as a zone where school children were present," he said. "Tragically, a 12-year-old boy was killed in the space where he should have been most safe. His family and classmates are left to try to make sense of such a preventable tragedy."

At a press conference Wednesday, Gascón said Castro was previously involved in multiple collisions, KTLA reported.

Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that Castro was allegedly driving around 90 miles an hour in a 25 MPH zone just before the crash.

South Gate Police Chief Darren Arakawa said the "investigation required a tremendous amount of patience and expertise to ensure that we had all of the factual information and evidence aligned before presenting our case to the District Attorney's Office."

"It seems commonplace in Los Angeles County to see some motorist driving recklessly and at freeway speeds on residential and business streets. The outcome of these driving habits of some sadly have irreparable consequences."

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According to the GoFundMe page, Isaiah, who attended South East Middle School, was "an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Kings and Raiders. He was interested in becoming a chef, but like most 12-year-old boys, he loved playing games on his Nintendo Switch. His favorite game was Animal Crossing and he made sure he always had the biggest and coolest village."

He also loved "action figures…backyard parties, especially playing and swimming with his family. Some of his favorite animated cartoons were the Kung fu Panda series (skadoosh!), My Hero Academia and Toy Story. He also loved action movies, especially Marvel and DC."

Castro has yet to enter a plea.

A bail review hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22.

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