NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The mother of the 12-year-old boy who died in a car accident Saturday evening has been charged with driving under the influence in connection to the crash, according to Newport News Master Police Officer Brandon Maynard.
Police were called to the 1100 block of Old Denbigh Boulevard at 6:38 p.m. for a two-vehicle accident.
The investigation revealed that 31-year-old Anais Perez, of Alexandria, who was driving a gray Toyota Camry, was hit by a black Nissan Maxima after failing to yield at a stop sign. Perez was traveling east on Woodside Lane when she was hit on the passenger side by a 29-year-old Newport News woman, who was driving the Nissan north on Old Denbigh Boulevard.
Both drivers were taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Perez was arrested and charged with felony child abuse, DUI manslaughter, DUI with child, reckless driving and failure to obey a stop sign.
Her family said she had reported having issues with her brakes before the accident. When they spoke with her Monday she said the brakes failed.
“I noticed, her car, to brake, it took a long time. She had to like floor it, just to brake,” said her sister Anissa Perez.
The boy, who was a passenger in the front seat of the Toyota Camry, later died at a local hospital, according to police.
His family identified him as Gianni Argueta, a Hines Middle School student, the son of Anais Perez.
“I’m doing what I can and keeping his memory alive and making sure people know who he is and who he was,” Anissa Perez said.
On Monday, his family worked on the details of his funeral, as they looked over the things he left behind.
“We always played around, I’d help him with his Bey Blades because he wants to be a master,” his uncle Jerry Perez said looking at one of Gianni’s favorite toys.
Newport News Public Schools Director of Public Information Michelle Price said the school is offering counseling to his classmates.
The school released the following statement:
The Newport News Public Schools family is saddened to learn of the unexpected death of a Hines Middle School student, following an accident this weekend. To support the Hines students and staff through this challenging time, additional counselors will be present at the school this week. Students and staff who wish to talk with a counselor will be given the opportunity to do so. The school division extends condolences to the student’s family and friends, and stands ready to support and assist them.
A GoFundMe account has also been created to help with funeral services for Gianni Perez. To donate, click here.
Stay tuned to WAVY.com for updates.