Felon Charged in Indio Hit-And-Run Crash That Severely Injured 5-Year-Old Boy

Felon Charged in Indio Hit-And-Run Crash That Severely Injured 5-Year-Old Boy

News Staff & City News Service

A felony charge was filed Wednesday against a suspect accused in a Feb. 4 hit-and-run crash that injured an Indio woman and her 5-year-old son, who remains hospitalized.

Jesus Mario Noriega, 31, of Indio, was charged with one count of felony hit-and-run involving injury or death while in custody at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on unrelated charges of possessing a controlled substance and violating a court order, according to Indio Police Department spokeswoman Ben Guitron.

Noriega, who’s being held without bail, is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Thursday.

The injury crash was reported about 4:30 p.m. last Thursday in the area of Indio Boulevard and Fred Waring Drive in Indio, where the mother and child had to be removed from her crumpled Toyota Camry after it was struck by a Toyota Highlander that was gone when rescue crews arrived.

The boy was airlifted to a hospital, where he remains under care in stable condition, Guitron said.

The child’s mother was also transported to a hospital with injuries of undisclosed severity and is now recovering at home, according to her husband. He told KESQ in an interview the day after the crash that his son required a blood transfusion and suffered spine and shoulder fractures.

Authorities identified Noriega as the alleged hit-and-run driver based on “investigative leads and help from the public,” Guitron said.

Noriega has prior felony convictions in Riverside County, including grand theft and vehicle theft.

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