A 22-year-old Livingston man with a lengthy arrest record was jailed Tuesday in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl who was struck by a car on R Street in Merced.
According to the Merced Police Department, Isaac Maldonado was the driver of a purple Honda Accord that sped away from the scene Monday afternoon after the toddler was struck while walking with family in a crosswalk at the intersection of 18th and R streets.
The child, Dayveonna Polk, was rushed to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera where she later died.
Maldonado was arrested in Modesto at about 9 p.m., police said. He was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of hit and run and vehicular manslaughter, both felonies, according to police.
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Officials also recovered the car they believe he was driving during the deadly collision, police said.
He remained in custody Wednesday with bail is set at $71,103, according to booking records.
Moldanodo has been in and out of custody nearly half a dozen times dating back to 2013, booking records show, on numerous allegations including felony burglary, graffiti, possessing vandalism tools, obstructing and a string of parole violations.
Dayveonna Polk was crossing 18th Street in Merced with her mom and three sibling around 3:40 p.m. Monday when she was struck by a car, allegedly driven by Maldonado. The driver was stopped at a red light on R Street, police said, and when the light turned green he made a left on R Street, struck the toddler and fled.
More than 50 family and friends huddled together Tuesday night at the scene of the tragedy with lit candles and decorated the area with pictures and balloons.
“I just want justice for my baby, that’s all that matters,” said the mother of the toddler, Shawan Bradford. “She was a happy baby and I’m not going to be able to see that anymore.”
Bradford, 37, said her daughter fought hard for her life. She described Dayveonna as a “girly girl” and a “princess” who only ever smiled.
“She danced, she played with her brothers, she played with all the kids,” Bradford said.
The family is planning funeral arrangements and created a GoFundMe account to help with expenses. People can donate at www.gofundme.com/4taqxu8.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Merced Police Department at 209-385-4725.