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Relative speaks out on Oxnard crash victims

May 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A relative of a family riding in a SUV that was struck by a car in Oxnard on Friday is speaking out.

Investigators said a man in a red Ford Mustang was street racing when he ran through a stop sign and crashed into the SUV carrying Andrew Hernandez, his wife and three children.

The force of the impact caused the SUV to flip over, momentarily trapping the family inside. Four members of the Hernandez family remained in the hospital Monday.

Anthon Chevalier, 33, of Oxnard, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of DUI, hit-and-run driving and participating in a street race.

Chevalier allegedly was behind the wheel of a car that raced the Mustang, which blew by a stop sign at Maulhardt Drive and Latigo Avenue and collided with the SUV.

Hernandez took the brunt of the hit.

"The worst of his injuries were that he had a ruptured spleen, a punctured lung, his diaphragm was ruptured as well so that caused internal bleeding, which was life threatening at the time," said Hernandez's brother, David Hernandez.

The youngest person inside the SUV was 6-year-old Anais Hernandez.

"Anais suffered a skull fracture, so she has swelling in her brain," David Hernandez said.

Torrey Austin, the driver of the Mustang, remains in the hospital recovering from injuries. Charges against the 23-year-old are pending. A passenger in Austin's car was also hospitalized.

Family members said one of Hernandez's children, a boy, was released from the hospital. The mother may be released soon. The 6-year-old girl may be released later this week, depending on the swelling. Hernandez is facing long-term care before he can recover.

"He's my only brother I have left," David Hernandez said. "I had another brother that was killed by a drunk driver back in 1987. I just felt like it was almost a repeat again."

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