LAKE WORTH -- The world of a little girl in a pink T-shirt collapsed in a bloody moment.
Diego Francisco Pascual had decided that he wanted to scare and hurt his live-in girlfriend and her family, the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office said. So the Lake Worth man ran them over, killing his girlfriends mother and injuring her father and three of their children. A fourth one managed to jump out of his way just in time.
Pascual, 26, is in the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder. He turned himself in Sunday afternoon to a Lake Worth substation after he said he thought about what he did, according to the arrest report.
Pascuals alleged actions led to the death of 37-year-old Cristina Andres, the mother of Pascuals 17-year-old girlfriend Ana. Two others were left severely injured, including Ana and her 37-year-old father, Miguel Pedro Francisco. Both were still hospitalized late Sunday at Delray Medical Center.
Also involved in the crash were 10-year-old Maria Pedro-Andres, and her sister and brother, Carmina, 6, and Manuel, 3. All three younger siblings were released from Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach by Sunday afternoon, Carmina and Manuel with road rash on the sides of their faces.
Pascual told detectives he had been festering in rage since Saturday evening when he had argued with Ana because she wouldnt give him the keys to his sport utility-vehicle so he could go out and drink. He said he accidentally hit Ana with a door and her parents went to hit him and kick him.
Pascual said he bought a package of 18 Bud Light beers and began to drink them in the parking lot of a local convenience store as he sulked over the incident, the report said. Around midnight, he drove to a friends house, where he continued drinking.
He eventually fell asleep and woke around 9 a.m. Sunday, spiteful and determined to cause the family trouble, the report said. First, he drove to their house in the 700 block of North G Street, where he honked but no one answered. It was Sunday, he remembered, and the family tradition on such a day is to do the laundry.
Pascual said he drove to a nearby coin laundry, where he saw Ana and her family through the window.
About 15 minutes later, the family headed home, as Pascual followed in his SUV while staying about a block behind, the report said. He didnt think they saw him following him, he later told detectives.
Then he floored his SUV to about 50 mph.
He first hit Miguel, who was holding on to Carmina. Then he hit Cristina, followed by Ana. Maria said she heard the SUV revving up behind her and she jumped out of the way.
My sister said, Hes going to kill us, said Maria, the only one not injured. As the car came closer, he started going faster, she added Sunday night, while lamenting that she did not try to help her injured siblings out of the way.
Pascual told detectives that by the time he realized what he had done, he tried swerving to avoid hitting Ana, but it was too late. He fled the scene, setting off a manhunt for his 2001 GMC Yukon with a temporary Florida license plate and a Mickey Mouse sticker on the right-front passenger side. A helicopter and about 45 sheriffs units joined in the search, which covered Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Manalapan.
Maria said that during the time Pascual lived with her and her family, she often heard him argue with her sister, Ana.
In the morning, daytime and nighttime, she said about the frequency of the arguments. About cars, money and drinking. He wanted a lot of money to get stuff from the store.
Before she was taken to the hospital, Maria stood calmly in a crowd of neighbors and extended family in the 800 block of North H Street, where officials had cordoned off the street. Its asphalt was still streaked with her familys blood. Between phone calls, her tear-faced aunt hugged the little girl in the pink T-shirt who gazed out at the commotion with wide eyes.
A small overturned stroller, bloodied clothing and a pair of womens sandals lay in the street in front of her. Another stroller held a green laundry bag stuffed with her familys neatly folded clothes. Nearby was a black pair of silver-tipped cowboy boots.
After the crash, Cristina Andres brother, Jose Andres, walked a few blocks to the familys residence in a squat, concrete-block apartment building to retrieve their passports. He said he had last talked to his sister and brother-in-law the night before and everything was OK.