Three days after the death of her mother, a Sonoma Valley second-grader has succumbed to the injuries she suffered on her way to school Tuesday morning when a suspected drunken driver slammed his pickup head-on into their car.
Family members said they plan to remove Kaliyah Adkins, 7, from life support Saturday at Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she has been in care since Tuesday.
Her mother, Estefania Soto, 27, died at the site of the crash on Highway 12 in Agua Caliente.
The girl lived with her mother in Boyes Hot Springs, and was a student at Sassarini Elementary School. School Principal Andrew Ryan sent a letter to parents Friday morning informing them that Adkins had died.
The driver of the pickup, Jose Manuel Lopez-Perez, 25, of Santa Rosa, was charged with two counts of murder Friday when he was arraigned by Sonoma County prosecutors in his bed at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Soto was driving Adkins to the school at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday on Highway 12 in Agua Caliente when a Ford pickup truck driven by Jose Manuel Lopez-Perez, 25, of Santa Rosa, crossed the double-yellow line and collided with her Nissan Sentra, according to the CHP.
Bystanders quickly stopped, pulled an unconscious Adkins from her pink car seat and began performing CPR until first responders took over.
Others pulled Lopez-Perez from his burning truck. Both Adkins and Lopez-Perez were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries but the 7-year-old was quickly flown to Children’s Hospital Oakland.
She remained there as recently as Wednesday, when a family friend said she was unconscious with severe swelling in her brain.
Lopez-Perez was arrested on suspicion of DUI and was set to be arraigned in his hospital bed Friday afternoon and he could be charged with the deaths of Adkins and Soto, said Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell.
Sassarini Elementary had therapy dogs and support personnel from Social Advocates for Youth at the school Friday to help staff and students “work through their grief,” Ryan said by email.
The mother and daughter have roots in Sonoma Valley, Ryan said earlier this week. Soto was Ryan’s student when he was a physical education teacher at Altamira Middle School, he said.
Soto was an employee at Crush Beauty Bar in Sonoma where Soto worked as a hairstylist.
Friends and relatives of the family could not immediately be reached Friday.
This article will be updated. Check back later.
You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @nrahaim.