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Honduran man charged with murder in alleged drunk-driving crash that killed 6-year-old girl

SUMMERDALE, Alabama (WALA) – A Honduran immigrant now faces a manslaughter charge after police say he crashed his car while driving under the influence in the early morning hours of Monday, July 8, 2024. A six-year-old child who was a passenger died from his injuries.

Zevlin Pavon-Gomez appeared in court Wednesday through an interpreter for a bond hearing. It was the second time this week that 25-year-old Zelvin Pavon-Gomez appeared before District Judge Bill Scully. Wednesday’s appearance was to set bond on an enhanced charge of assault 1 to murder. Baldwin County prosecutors said the violent crash on County Road 28 near George Younce Road just after 3 a.m. Monday was the result of Gomez driving drunk. The 6-year-old girl was thrown from the vehicle and later died.

Honduran immigrant Zevlin Gomez faces a murder charge after investigators say he was driving under the influence of alcohol when he caused a crash that killed his six-year-old passenger(Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office)

“He lost control of the vehicle, hit a fence and it rolled over. Before it rolled over, the child was ejected and the vehicle landed on the child,” explained Deputy District Attorney Teresa Heinz.

Investigators said the 6-year-old was not wearing a child seat. She was airlifted to a hospital, and Gomez was initially charged with assault first. The child died Tuesday, which raised the charge to manslaughter. Heinz told the court that Gomez admitted to drinking alcohol and being intoxicated at the time of the crash.

“He admitted to being at a party where alcohol was consumed. He admitted to being, as they say, ‘stoned’ and blacking out, and he had no memory of the actual events of the accident itself,” Heinz said.

Prosecutors said the victim was not Zevlin Gomez’s child, but described her as someone who looked up to Gomez as a father. It is not known where they were headed when the crash occurred. Heinze said Gomez’s criminal history has been difficult to investigate so far, but he said he applied for asylum in Honduras in 2019 but was rejected.

The state requested, and Judge Bill Scully agreed to, $200,000 bail. If he posts it, he will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor and an alcohol monitor, among other things.