SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police have arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with a New Year’s Day hit-and-run crash in which a 31-year-old man and 14-year-old girl were killed.
Officers with the Street Crimes Unit arrested Cesar Gonzalez around noon Thursday in the 3400 block of West Laurel Street. He is facing two counts of failure to stop and render aid, with more charges possible, police said.
Around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, a van was backing out of a driveway in the 3400 block of Poplar Street when Gonzalez’s truck hit the vehicle, officers said.
Police said Gonzalez was driving between 100 and 120 mph before hitting the van.
Investigators said the 31-year-old man was killed on impact, and the 14-year-old girl was ejected from the van. On Thursday, during a vigil held for the victims and their family, family members identified the victims as Jesus Aguilar Jr. and Kristina.
“My mom called me at 12:15 said, ‘Happy New Year.’ Fifteen minutes later, I get that phone call again, and everything is in a panic here,” Juan Lozano said, Aguilar’s cousin.
Aguilar’s two other children, a 5-year-old boy and a 1-year-girl, were also in the minivan at the time of the crash. They suffered second-degree burns after the van burst into flames following the crash, officials said. A family member jumped in the vehicle to rescue them and took them to University Hospital, a witness said.
Lozano described Aguilar as a loving father of six and Kristina as a happy, bright girl.
“She just put a smile on everyone’s face. She was a wonderful little girl,” he said.
Police said they were able to find the suspect with the help of the community after receiving several tips. They are looking for other people to question in the case.
Online records state Gonzalez was out on bond for a DWI arrest in July 2019.
Anyone with more information on the case is asked to call San Antonio police.