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Santa Rosa driver faces trial in crosswalk death of 4-year-old

A Santa Rosa man charged with the crosswalk killing of a 4-year-old boy asked his boss for money and a ride to Southern California in the hours after he drove away from the crash, according to court testimony Wednesday.

Three officers and a witness said that Marcos Lopez Garcia, 22, Garcia plowed into Christopher "Buddy" Rowe in a West Ninth Street crosswalk near Santa Rosa's Jacobs Park on Aug. 18.

At the end of the day-long preliminary hearing, Judge Gary Medvigy said there was enough evidence for Garcia to stand trial on charges of felony hit-and-run causing a death, misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license.

Rowe Family And Community Gathering In Santa Rosa

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"A reasonable person would have crawled, absolutely crawled through that intersection," Medvigy said.

Garcia was traveling west in the left lane of West Ninth Street on his way home from work, police said.

Thomas Jackson, who was in the adjoining lane, testified that he heard honking just before he watched Garcia drive into a child. Jackson at the time told officers that Garcia then "gunned it."

Several members of Rowe's family, including his parents Jim and Michelle Rowe, wiped away tears during the hearing. At one point Michelle Rowe heaved a heavy sigh and rested her head on her husband's shoulder.

After the crash, Garcia drove to a Finley Park parking lot and began peeling a bright orange San Francisco Giants decal from the rear window of his Honda.

His girlfriend, Sylvia Santiago Hernandez, picked him up and later told officers that she tried to convince Garcia to surrender as they sped to her mother's house, Santa Rosa Police Officer Mike Aiken testified.

Officers apprehended Garcia with the help of a driver who heard the accident on a police scanner. Leroy Flach followed Garcia and his girlfriend, who was driving a grey-blue Volvo, reporting their moves to 911 dispatchers.


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