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Suspected DUI Crash Critically Injures Pregnant Mother in Rio Linda

RIO LINDA — A woman who was six months pregnant was hit by a suspected drunken driver Monday in Rio Linda.

Ciara Villegas was all smiles when her grandmother says she took her pregnancy pictures Sunday.

Just two days later, those same images would be part of a GoFundMe campaign to help the expectant mother recover from a crash that left her critically injured in Rio Linda.

While Villegas’ grandmother, Margaret, told FOX40 the baby had passed away, hours later Villegas’ sister, Cacy Hilding-Trillo, clarified and told FOX40 the baby is alive and in critical condition after an emergency delivery.

“I was standing right here and then I heard a loud noise. When I heard the noise everybody looked to the outside,” said Hamid Mohammadi with Archway Market. “Everybody running, everybody outside, and saw the lady on the ground.”

Mohammadi was stunned when he realized what he heard was someone slamming into Villegas’ parked Chevrolet Impala, pushing her own car into her and knocking her down.

“We know them for a long time, when she was kid,” Mohammadi said, explaining how Villegas was a regular customer at his market. “I know the mom, grandma, everybody. So, it’s a sad thing that happened.”

“She’s very nice. Very nice, very polite,” said Archway Market employee Katrina Linthicum.

Investigators say 23-year-old Ronny Ward III slammed his yellow Jeep into Villegas’ car at M Street and 4th Avenue.

One man who lived nearby rushed to the scene to keep Ward from leaving.

“He was doing donuts and he hit a car. And then he knocked her all way to the corner and then ran over a telephone pole,” the man, who did not want to be identified, told FOX40.

Ward is now jailed on charges of driving with a suspended license and DUI causing injury or death.

“He was drunk,” the witness said. “‘Cause I went over to his truck and there was all kinds of beer cans in it and he couldn’t stand up.”

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