NewsCovering Kern County


Woman involved in crash that left a two-year-old dead released from jail

Posted at 3:11 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 23:25:59-04

A woman involved in a crash that left a two-year-old dead and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana has been released from jail. 

Officials said the Bakersfield Police Department never filed charges with the district attorney's office so the woman was released. 

Bakersfield police said on March 16th around 2:10 p.m. officers responded to the La Mirage Motel located at 525 Union Avenue near E. 6th Street for a traffic incident in the parking lot. 

Officials said officers discovered a 2 1/2 year old boy was riding his scooter in the parking lot when he was struck by a vehicle. The boy suffered major injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died. 

Family has identified the child killed as Thaddeus Markell Thomas Jr.

A vigil was held for Thaddeus at the La Mirage Motel at 525 Union Ave. on Saturday March 17th.

The driver of the vehicle LaDanna Samara-Morales, 55, stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. She was subsequently arrested and booked into jail for driving under the influence of a drug and felony possession of drug paraphernalia in a jail.

However, Morales was released Tuesday after BPD failed to file charges with the district attorney's office in time. 

The collision remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 661-327-7111.