28-year-old L.A. sheriff‘s deputy Ricardo Castro has been charged with murder for his involvement in a tragic car crash that killed 12-year-old Isaiah Rodriguez. Occurring at a South Gate school zone while the deputy was off-duty, the preventable” crash broke Isaiah’s family. As the boy’s mother Betsabe Suarez said, “My son didn’t deserve this, he was only 12.”

The tragic crash happened at a 25-mph school zone

The crash occurred on November 3, 2021 at the South Gate intersection of Firestone Boulevard and San Juan Avenue before 4 P.M. It happened at a 25-mph school zone, when Castro was allegedly speeding in his pickup truck— going up to 95 mph. Isaiah was traveling in the other car’s passenger seat, while his 19-year-old sister was driving. His sister was waiting to turn left when Castro T-boned their vehicle. According to the L.A. Times, the crash spun around the car and plummeted it around 75 feet away.

Employees at a nearby taco stand and car wash quickly helped out. Witness Alex Lopez told NBC, “The doors were locked so they couldn’t open them… We knocked on the window and they knocked back.”

The GoFundMe page set-up for the family says “good samaritans” pulled the sister out of the car, while firefighters pulled Isaiah out upon arrival.

Isaiah did not survive his “severe injuries” from the crash

Responders rushed the two siblings to the hospital, where Isaiah’s sister survived a “concussion, broken bones” and lacerations. Tragically, Isaiah did not survive his “severe injuries to his head, brain, and abdomen.”

According to the 12-year-old’s loved ones, the emergency team at Long Beach Memorial Hospital “worked tirelessly to save” him, “restarting his heart three times,” but he passed away that evening.

Talking about the fatal crash, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said, “Driving at 95 miles per hour was nearly quadruple the speed limit when school children are present… [is a] conscious disregard for those children’s lives.”

Gascón said in a news conference that Castro had received several speeding tickets in the past, and was involved in various car accidents. Fox 11 reports that he was on the passenger side in a deadly crash just three months prior to the accident that killed Isaiah.

What to know about Castro’s charges

Moreover, as a sheriff’s deputy, there’s no doubt Castro knew the dangers of speeding. All of these details led to his charges, which include one count of murder, one count of manslaughter, and one count of reckless driving with an enhancement for grave bodily injury.

The district attorney described, “Mr. Castro’s recklessness ended the life of a boy with an entire future ahead of him and destroyed a family… This tragedy was preventable and should never have happened.”

Castro now faces 25 years to life in prison.

Meanwhile, Isaiah’s mother spoke at a press conference following Castro’s charges, and her speech was heartbreaking. She said, “I love you, Isaiah… and I miss you every single day… Isaiah was 12 years old when he passed away and went to heaven. This should have never happened.”

She continued, “I had to have his birthday without him, holidays without him, I’m never going to see him graduate, go to college, get married… nothing can ever replace him.”

Isaiah’s GoFundMe says he was a hug Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, and Raiders fan, and wanted to be a chef. He loved his Nintendo Switch, the “Kung Fu Panda” series, and his friends, teachers, and principal. “Anyone who knew Isaiah would say he was special – one of the sweetest kids you would want to know… He was always the first one to help, especially those in need.”