published Monday, November 14th, 2011

Driver charged in accident that killed 11-year-old

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Chattanooga police have arrested a man involved in a fatal accident on Rossville Boulevard.

Stephen McDowell, 40, was arrested this morning after a grand jury heard a presentment of evidence and returned indictments against him for vehicular homicide, two counts of reckless aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary.

The charges stem from a car crash Sept. 19 of this year, when Rosalia Velasquez, 38, was attempting to turn her car across two southbound lanes into the Family Dollar Store parking lot at 3400 Rossville Blvd. when McDowell’s car struck her car.

Velasquez’s two children — the 11-year-old and her 6-year-old brother — were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle, Weary said.

The girl died of her injuries a few days after the accident, said Weary.

McDowell’s charges stem from evidence obtained from the scene, along with scientific information obtained throughout the investigation, Weary said.

Velasquez was also cited for failure to properly restrain her children.

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Loyaljeeper said...

How about we deport her?

November 14, 2011 at 3:36 p.m.
esaletnik said...

So if I'm driving along and a car coming from the opposite direction tries to take a left and cuts right in front of me and a kid in that car is killed then I can be charged with homicide??

November 14, 2011 at 6:20 p.m.

@ Loyaljeeper - Your comment in disgusting!! Although I can not comprehend how anyone would not strap a child in while driving, this mother lost her child and you should show some respect! Also, just because she's ethnic you automatically assume she's a candidate for deportation, YOU RACIST PIG!! If she was an "illegal" I'm sure they would have addressed her immigration status by now, and regardless if she was "illegal" if doesn't change the fact that a child has died.

FYI - If you read the entire story (and all related stories) you will find that charges against McDowell "stem from EVIDENCE obtained from the scene, along with scientific information obtained throughout the investigation". Obviously the mother wasn't found to be at fault for the accident which was determined by police so if your unhappy w/ the verdict then you should point your comments towards the investigators. AGAIN, I think the mother is absolutely in the wrong for not making sure the kids had their seat belts on but I'm pretty sure the DEATH of her child is punishment enough considering the pain and regret she must feel.

November 14, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
bryseana said...

It's tragic all around.

November 14, 2011 at 10:39 p.m.
holdout said...

Yes esale if you are impaired you can.

November 15, 2011 at 8:59 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

This is a sad situation all the way around...BUT the illegals do NOT know how to drive and they don't obey OUR traffic laws. Even if she's not illegal she should not have been pulling in front of another vehicle AND her child should have been restrained.

I'm truly sorry a child died over this but the mother is also to blame. If the guy was impaired and/or speeding then he is partly at fault as well IF the law says if you're impaired and involved in a fatality that you DID NOT cause then you are at fault too.

I'll be anxious to see what a jury says.

November 15, 2011 at 11:27 a.m.
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