Mother, baby killed by alleged drunk driver after Bay Area wine festival

Livermore crash

A car crashed into an apartment complex, killing a woman and toddler and slightly injuring two other children in Livermore, Calif.

(Livermore Police Department)

A family is grieving and police continue to investigate a crash in Livermore, Calif., this weekend that killed a mother and her baby when a suspected drunk driver barreled into the pair after the driver allegedly left a local wine festival.

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. Saturday when, police said, Livermore resident Brian Jones, 35, sped his 2014 Chevrolet Corvette eastbound around a curve, lost control, jumped a curb and careened toward a walkway leading to an apartment complex, hitting a mother who was walking with her 14-month-old daughter.

The Alameda County Coroner identified the victims Monday as Esperanza Morales-Rodriguez, 46, of Seaside, and her daughter, Yulidia Perez-Morales.

Police say Jones’ car hit the pair, then caromed off one tree, then a second and slammed through two backyard fences and part of an apartment wall before it came to a rest. Two of Morales-Rodriguez’s relatives, 6- and 7-year-old boys, were injured by debris. Police said if the car hadn’t hit the trees before going into the backyard, it would have drove right into them and killed them too.


Debris flew more than 150 feet from the crash site, said Livermore police Officer Ryan Sanchez, a department spokesman.

“When you have debris scattered like this, you know right off the bat speed was definitely a factor,” Sanchez said. Police declined to provide an estimate on how fast they think Jones was driving at the time.

What detectives do know, however, is that just a couple of hours earlier Jones had been at the Livermore Wine Country Festival about half a mile away. Police don’t know when he left but said the festival stopped serving alcohol at 5 p.m. and closed at 6 p.m. The crash was reported at 6:51 p.m.

Jones was injured in the crash and arrested hours later.


Police said Jones voluntarily took a breathalyzer at the scene of the crash, which showed his blood alcohol content was .13; the legal limit in California is .08.

Officers booked him Saturday night on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a DUI causing great bodily injury. On Sunday, Jones posted $350,000 bail and was freed.

It’s unclear where Jones might have been between leaving the festival and the crash, police said. Livermore police had officers at the wine festival to monitor intoxicated guests and taxis were there to drive inebriated guests, police said.

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