Driver's BAC was 3x legal limit during crash that left dad, son in coma, police say

Officials Wednesday charged an Orange County man with having a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit when he crashed into a family of five while they were on a bike ride in Garden Grove. A father and son are still in comas days after the crash.

Ceferino Ramos was charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run for his alleged role in the July 7 crash that injured a mom, dad and their three young children, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday. All told, Ramos faces three felony counts.

The crash happened around 7 p.m. that Sunday. Angel Ramirez and Angela Hernandez-Mejia were riding e-bikes with their 7-month-old daughter, 5-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter near Haster Street and Twintree Lane. Hernandez-Mejia was pulling the baby behind her in a trailer; Ramirez was pulling a trailer with the other two children. That's when officials said Ramos crashed into all five of them.

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Officials said a witness saw the crash happen, and watched Ramos drive off. That witness called police and drove after Ramos until police could get to them. When officers got there, they found Ramos' blood alcohol content was 0.22 — nearly three times the legal limit of 0.8.

Both Ramirez and the couple's 5-year-old son have been in a coma since the crash. Ramirez suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed, while officials said his son does not have any brain activity. The older daughter remains in critical condition after surgery. She turned seven just a day after the crash. Both Hernandez-Mejia and the couple's younger daughter suffered minor injuries and are expected to survive.

"Instead of blowing out her birthday candles, a little girl spent her seventh birthday in the hospital fighting for her life the day after being run over along with her entire family by a drunk driver," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a press release. "They were just riding their bikes, enjoying a hot summer day, and now that little girl, her brother, and their dad are just hoping to make it to her next birthday. This is a tragedy that should have never happened, but it did because of the selfish decision by a stranger to get behind the wheel drunk. We are praying for Angel and for their two children to make miraculous recoveries and to be able to celebrate many, many more birthdays the way birthdays should be celebrated and not in hospital beds."

Ramos' charges include three felony enhancements for causing a brain injury, paralysis, and great bodily injury. If he is convicted, he faces a maximum 11 years behind bars, but the charges may be upgraded if any of the family's injuries get worse.