May 29, 2012
By Sean Maher and Doug Oakley
Bay Area News Group
A 6-year-old Berkeley boy has died from injuries sustained in a May 18 crash that killed his mother, officials said Tuesday.
Xavier Chevez was in a coma until 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, when he died, police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.
It's not yet clear whether Xavier's death will mean additional charges for Jose Lumbreras, a 24-year-old Berkeley man who was the driver in the accident. Police say at the time of the crash on California Street, Lumbreras had a blood alcohol content of 0.219, or more than 2½ times the legal limit of 0.08.
Twenty-two-year-old Milanca Lopez, Xavier's mother and Lumbreras' girlfriend, was in the car when it crashed; she died at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt, police said.
Lumbreras, who was also badly hurt and remained hospitalized, faces six felony charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
The coroner's office will perform an autopsy on Xavier and submit the results to the district attorney, who will decide whether to level more charges at Lumbreras, Kusmiss said.
Police said a Cadillac driven by Lumbreras was traveling north about 65 mph on California Street, a quiet residential street, about 1:15 a.m. May 18 when it hit a traffic circle at Allston Way, became airborne and hit a tree about 20 yards on the opposite side of the circle, police said.
There were no skid marks showing Lumbreras might have tried to slow down before hitting the concrete curb around the traffic circle, Kusmiss said.
Xavier, who was wearing a seat belt in the back seat but was not in a booster, was in a coma on life support after the crash.
Teresa Drenick, spokeswoman for the Alameda County district attorney, said the one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated taken by itself carries prison time of between four and 10 years on conviction.
UC Berkeley officials said Lopez was getting ready to graduate with a degree in social welfare and had been accepted to graduate school at UCLA.
A photo at the crash scene where friends and family held a vigil two days after the crash shows Lopez and her son in graduation gowns at the university's Chicano/Latino graduation ceremony May 12.