Man Sentenced in Toddler’s Death After Police Chase
David Rodriguez, 32, was sentenced to life in prison in mid-December for his role in the death of 17-month-old Welsey Masporo last year. Rodriguez, who was “fleeing from police because he had 419 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle,” was driving the wrong way on an I-35 access road when he slammed in the Masporo family’s station wagon, according to KSAT News. “Though injured herself, Regina Maspero [the child’s mother] said she began searching for her children following the crash. ‘I was looking for him, and he was face down in his car seat,’ she told jurors,” as reported by KSAT.
Welsey wasn’t the only of Maspero’s children that was killed in the accident, either—her 3-year-old son Walter “was also killed in the wreck,” reports KSAT. Rodriguez, in addition to the sentencing he received for the baby’s death, is also facing murder charges for Walter’s death and federal drug charges. “It took the jury a scant 45 minutes… to decide that [he] should be sent to prison for life,” according to KSAT. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police pursuits, such as the one Rodriguez was engaged in at the time of the fatal accident, “provide some frightening statistics.” Most police chases, unlike the Rodriguez incident, involve a routine traffic stop violation. “One person dies every day as a result of a police pursuit,” the FBI reports.
It’s not just civilians that are killed in police chases, either—“on average, from 1994 through 1998,” according to the FBI, “one law enforcement officer was killed every 11 weeks in a pursuit, and 1 percent of all U.S. law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty lost their lives in vehicle pursuits.” The FBI reports that 30 percent of people who flee police end up crashing, as what happened in the Rodriguez incident. More than a quarter of them were running to avoid arrest. The average in-town pursuit length is 1.72 blocks, according to the FBI.
If you or someone you know has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, in an incident involving a police chase, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact The Bettersworth Law Firm for a free consultation today.