March 11, 2010

Driver in tragic accident didn't have a driver's license; Racine man facing criminal charges for death of 4-year-old

Terrible development in the story about the accident at the intersection of Durand Avenue and Meachem Road on Monday afternoon. A 4-year-old boy in the accident died from severe brain and spine injuries. Four other people were injured.

It was also revealed today the driver of the car that allegedly caused the accident did not have a driver's license. The District Attorney's office charged Luis Zavala Thursday with operating a vehicle without a license resulting in death and operating a vehicle without a license causing great bodily harm.

The criminal charges are relatively minor. Zavala, 78, can be sentenced to nine months in jail and fined $10,000 for each crime.

A criminal complaint filed against Zavala Thursday suggested Zavala ran a red light and crashed into a car turning left from westbound Durand Avenue onto southbound Meachem Road.

The 4-year-old was wearing a seatbelt, but may not have been using a shoulder harness. He did not have a child's booster seat or car seat.

A paramedic at the scene said the boy was found without a pulse. He was treated and taken to All Saints, where he was flown to Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa. Authorities learned the boy had died Wednesday.


  1. Other question was the driver an Illegal? Does not our Mayor feel that he need not worry about them?

  2. The JT reports the age at 78;

    "Police said a minivan, driven by Luis P. Zavala, 78, of Racine, was headed east on Durand Avenue when he failed to stop for a red light at the intersection"

  3. This so sad on many levels. First off, I am so sorry for the child's parents, but could the use of a approved child safety seat have saved this child? I would not want to live with that guilt.

    Second, how is killing someone with your car a misdemeanor. This is very wrong.

    Third, how the state regulates the drivers licenses of Seniors is appalling. Carte Blanche at 70 years old is negligent.

    Fourth is Mr Zavala was convicted for the second time of driving w/o a license in 1994, and Operating w.o license (Don't know what the difference is) in 1995. There is a history of lawlessness, and no it has caused the death of an innocent.

  4. Our government needs to ship all these illegals back to where they belong. They speak no English and they're a huge burden on the American people who pay taxes. Now with that being said, they take our jobs to boot!

  5. If I understand the positioning of the cars they were each on Durand heading in opposite directions and Mr Savala ran the red light..
    I see it every day, people no longer stop for yellow lights in fact they usually are in the going
    thru reds as well. People making turns two and three of them after the light has changed. Running thru intersections as lights go from yellow to red.
    People Please SLOW DOWN!!! making it thru one more light is not going to get you there any faster.
    As we can see here IT IS NOT WORTH IT!! If you have to run lights to get were you are going in time...LEAVE EARLIER...A family has lost their 4 year old boy.
    I hope his legacy will be for all of us to slow down and be careful.

  6. I think the weather may have been a factor. It was very thick with fog.

  7. It was 3:45 in the afternoon - still daylight. No fog that I recall at that hour. Let's not make excuses for people who run lights. However, the left turn signals are not on in all four directions all the time at this intersection - and they need to be.

  8. He was actually transported to Children's via ambulance and not flown... Just sayin'. Feel bad for his family, my prayers are with them. Hindesight is 20/20...

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  10. Ok, this is very sad and yes ACCIDENTS do happen it wasnt called a purpose. I personally know this gentleman and no he is NOT an illegal. I also think that maybe the parents should have thought better at properly strapping thier child in and for that matter should have more consequences for not doing so. Had the child been strapped in properly maybe his injuries wouldnt have been as severe.

  11. 8:35 - This guy is a murderer.