Toddler dies after being hit by van

Andy Jackson: CNJ Staff Writer

* Driver says he didn’t see 20-month-old boy in street while leaving his driveway.

Martin Molina Saldana said he “looked out both mirrors” before backing out of his driveway on Sunday afternoon. He said he never saw 20-month-old Alan Loya-Moreno in the street.

The boy was hit by Saldana’s vehicle and pronounced dead at Plains Regional Medical Center, police said. The accident happened about 4:15 p.m. on Sunday.

A preliminary police investigation revealed the toddler had gotten out of his residence when his mother was taking out the trash, according to a release from the Clovis Police Department.

No arrests were made and no charges have been filed in connection with the case.

Saldana transported the boy and his mother, Delta Loya-Moreno, to the hospital after the accident, according to the police report.

Saldana, 30, of 520 W. Fourth St., said the child’s mother did not blame him for the death. “No she didn’t yell at me, she knew it was an accident,” Saldana said.

Loya-Moreno family members could not be reached Monday for comment.

A Clovis News Journal reporter spoke briefly with Saldana on Monday at his home. Saldana, speaking in Spanish, said through a translator that he is nervous and scared about his future.

Saldana consumed alcohol, according to the police report. The report did not say the amount of alcohol Saldana is alleged to have consumed or when he may have been drinking.

Police Lt. James Schoeffel said police gave Saldana a field sobriety test at the hospital. Schoeffel would not say if Saldana passed the field sobriety test.

Schoeffel said police also drew blood from Saldana to test for intoxication, but results are not yet known and could take weeks.

Police listed “pedestrian error” as the only “apparent contributing factor” for the toddler’s injuries and death, according to the report.

The child’s body will be sent for an autopsy, Schoeffel said.