Three children hit by a van; driver charged

At least one victim remains in serious condition at the hospital

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Three children were hurt when they were hit by a van near Jefferson Avenue in Springfield’s North End Monday night. The driver of that van will face criminal charges.

Pedro Gonzalez was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail during his arraignment Tuesday in Springfield District Court. He is charged with is second offense for driving under the influence of liquor, one count of driving under the influence of liquor causing serious bodily injury, and a crosswalk violation.

Dennis Leger, aide to the Springfield Fire Commissioner, confirmed for 22News that ambulances rushed three victims to the hospital after they had been struck by a vehicle near 127 Jefferson Avenue, just before 8:45 pm Monday.

“Two firefighters drove two different AMR ambulances so that EMT personnel could work on the victims in the back,” Leger told 22News. “It appears the injuries are serious.”

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that the victims are two boys and one girl. On Tuesday morning, he said that one of the children, which he described as a “young teenager,” was in serious condition at the hospital. He did not have information on the conditions of the other two victims.

Franscheska Robles, who was in the area when the accident happened, said she was hoping it would be a near miss or a glancing blow, but she saw and heard the impact, and that the children were in the crosswalk when they were hit. “One of them was unconscious,” Robles said.

A small section of Chestnut Street between Jefferson Ave. and Calhoun St. was blocked off while police investigated the area. A mobile command center even arrived at around 10:25 p.m.

There was a commercial van stopped on the street; around 11:20 p.m., that van was towed away. The commercial van contains the logo of Chicopee-based Valley Communications, but the company’s chief operating officer, Robert Boire, told 22News that this particular van was given away as scrap back in 2013, though the decals were left intact. The driver was not a Valley Communications employee, Boire said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the children injured in this terrible accident,” Boire said.

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