RIO LINDA, Calif. (KCRA) — A pregnant woman was forced to deliver early after she was hit by a car in a suspected DUI crash, family members said.
The woman, identified as Ciara Villegas by family, was six months pregnant at the time of the crash. Family members said doctors delivered the baby early because of the crash.
Villegras and baby Ricky are now at a hospital getting treatment for life-threatening injuries.
The crash happened around 8:05 p.m. Monday near M Street, east of 4th Avenue. The California Highway Patrol said Ronny Ward III, 23, was driving his Jeep westbound on M Street when he veered to the right and crashed into a Chevy Impala parked on the side of the road.
The crash then pushed the Impala into 31-year-old Villegas, who was standing at the left front of the car, CHP said.
“I ran outside and I saw her laying on the ground,” said Linda Thompson who lives by the crash scene and ran to Villegas’ side. “She was trying to get up and I was trying to calm her down and keep her on the ground. She had a big laceration on her arm. I had somebody give me their shirt to put on her arm.”
Villegas’ family and friends are now praying for a miracle.
“If little Ricky is anything like his mom, which I’m sure he is, he’s going to be stubborn” friend Justin Rich said. “He’s not going to give up. They’re both going to fight.”
The crash happened just a day after Villegas took her maternity photos. Now, both Villegas and Ricky are in the hospital.
“They’re both fighting for their lives, so it’s very hard to endure that,” Villegas’ Aunt Arleen Reyes said. “My faith keeps me strong, but I hurt on the inside because the baby, we’re not sure what’s going to happen.”
Villegas’ grandmother Frances Williams said she comes from a large, tight-knit family.
“My heart’s broke. My baby and my grandbaby. It’s hurtful,” she said.
Villegas is the oldest of five siblings. Relatives said she was picking up milk for her little sister when the crash happened.
“The car came from behind her and hit the car and hit her,” sister Natalie Strianese said. “I saw her and I just started crying.”
Relatives and friends said Villegas is a sister, daughter and, now, a mother who is always by her family’s side. Now, they are by hers.
“Ciara’s always been a strong fighter ever since she was a little girl,” Villegas’ aunt Jennifer Walker said. “So, she’s just a tough cookie. I know this is just a stump in the road.”
Ward was taken into custody Monday night at the scene of the crash, CHP said.
Ward was booked into Sacramento County Jail on charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a suspended license.
No other details were released.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for Ciara Villegas to help pay for medical expenses.