May 13, 2013 7:17 PM by Lorraine Rivera
RIO RICO - A man and a toddler are dead following a crash in Rio Rico Sunday night.
According to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada, Abraham Alsonso Cardenas, 33, and Julian Lopez, 2, both died at the scene.
It happened at Pendleton Drive and Sonoita Creek Wash at approximately 8:30 p.m. Mother's Day, Sheriff Estrada said.
Cardenas was driving a Ford F-150 southbound on Pendleton when it entered the dip at the Sonoita Wash, lost control, and hit a Ford Explorer, Estrada said. It's believed excessive speed was a factor in the collision.
Cardenas' wife, 7-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter, and 9-month-old baby were taken to Holy Hope Hospital for treatment of their injuries, Estrada said. Katie Riley, a spokeswoman at University of Arizona Medical Center said Suzette Cardenas was listed in good condition and 7-year-old Abraham is in fair condition.
Two-year-old Julian Lopez, his mother, 5-year-old sister, and an unknown man were in the Explorer, Estrada said. Julian was ejected and died at the scene. His mother 25-year-old Karla Lopez and sister were taken to University of Arizona Medical Center for treatment of their injuries. The hospital says Lopez is listed in critical condition.
The unknown man who was also in the Explorer fled the scene, Estrada added.
Les Caid, the Rio Rico fire chief said the accident scene spanned 300 yards. He said in his 35 years of service, this is the worst he's ever seen, "multiple people at the scene yelling and screaming. A car was on fire when the first unit arrived, multiple victims. Everyone yelling and screaming, "this person needs help, that person needs help."
Caid said first responders performed multiple life-saving measures to save the 2-year-old but were unsuccessful, "if he had his seat belt on he would have had much greater chances and more than likely would still be with us today."