Family Of DUI, Hit-And-Run Victim Pleads For Justice
Family of 13-year-old Israel Medina pleads for justice, asks public to never drink and drive.
5:33 AM, Jun 27, 2012
The family of 13-year-old Israel Medina stands united, but inside they are broken.The California Highway Patrol says around 9:45 Sunday night, Israel was struck and killed by Dennis Ray Ozaeta on Virginia Avenue near Larry Street.The family says Israel was pushing his scooter home from the store. His dog, Vella, was walking alongside him."Wherever he went he wanted to take her," said Israel's mother, Connie Medina.The two were just a block away from home, when Ozaeta -- who was driving with two kids in his car -- hit Israel and Vella.The impact threw Israel several yards down the street and instantly killed Vella.Connie Medina says he was so badly injured, she could not recognize him at the hospital, where he was pronounced dead."I said 'Oh God it's not my son,' but it was my son. I only recognized him because he has a sick nail. That's how I recognized him, his nail and his hair because you couldn't see it was him. You'd think it was somebody else," said Medina.CHP found Ozaeta at his home and arrested him for felony drunk driving and felony hit and run."The guy had the audacity to take someone's life and keep going. Just to come by and pretty much smash through like it was a fence. It could've been anybody's kid out here on the street," said Israel's uncle, Gabriel Lucio.Ozaeta plead not guilty in court yesterday."I need justice. He needs to pay for what he did, for taking my son's life. He needs to pay," said Medina."A child lost his life. He'll never get to go to the prom, he'll never get to go to college. He'll never get to laugh or play. You know it's just a shame this guy will get to one day be out and be with his family again and move on with his life while our lives are destroyed," said Lucio.The family is pleading the public to never drink and drive."The Fourth of July is coming up. A lot of people will be getting behind the wheel and if this message can just save one person's life then it's not in vain," said Lucio.The family has set up a memorial fund for Israel.You can make a donation to Community Trust Bank in the name of Israel Chavez Medina, account number 8323.There will also be a fundraising yard sale at 1508 Kelly St. on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.You can also drop off donations there.