Source AP ©

Two drivers charged with murder in road-rage crash that killed boy

Two men were charged with murder in a road-rage crash that killed a 5-year-old boy and critically injured his mother and infant sister, authorities said.

Brian Barnes, 44, and Armando Gamboa Ayon, 19, each face one count of murder and vehicular manslaughter and three counts of reckless driving causing specified injury. Barnes also was charged with three counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

Both men appeared in court Thursday but their arraignment was delayed until Oct. 17. They were being held on more than $1 million (EUR700,000) bail.

"We're going to throw the book at them and enforce the law, because what happened to that family was unacceptable," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference.

Police said the two men were driving Tuesday in the San Fernando Valley when they got into an argument. Their cars weaved along city streets between speeds of 50 mph to 90 mph (80 kph to 145 kph), "cutting each other off" and jockeying for position, Detective Bill Butos said.

Barnes eventually slammed on his brakes and Ayon tried to avoid the vehicle and plowed into the back of a parked car, Officer Jason Lee said. The parked car slammed into another vehicle, crushing the boy, Ayman Arif, his sister, Ikra Arif, and his 31-year-old mother, Syeda Arif.

All three were taken to the hospital, where Ayman was taken off life support late Wednesday, police said. Syeda Arif and her daughter were both listed in critical condition.

Ayon was arrested at the crash site and Barnes later surrendered at a police station.

Outside court, Barnes' aunt, Carol Uri, sent along prayers to the Arif family and an attorney for Ayon apologized on behalf of his client's family to the victims.

"They want to say how really sorry they are for everything that happened," said Ayon's attorney, Howard Levine.

It was not clear if Barnes had an attorney.

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