Toddler Dies After Car Plunges Into Apple Valley River

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — The California Highway Patrol says a 1-year-old boy has drowned after his drunk father drove an off-road vehicle into a river in the San Bernardino County desert.

CHP spokesman Joaquin Zubieta says the Suzuki Samurai plunged Monday night into 9 feet of water in the Mojave River in Apple Valley. The driver had been off-road driving in the area and was inching the SUV into the water when it suddenly plunged and rolled over.

Zubieta says 23-year-old Hunter Kilmer and a 19-year-old passenger escaped but they couldn’t get Kilmer’s 16-month-old son, Ford, out of a baby seat in the rear.

Kilmer was booked for investigation of manslaughter and driving under the influence and remained jailed Tuesday.

Apple Valley is about 75 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • vudu

    Prepare to watch the justice system fail miserably as they always do in alcohol related fatalities. This guys severe lack of judgment endangered his kids life and he didn’t care……. then his kid dies…… and he lives? That only means he didn’t try very hard to get the kid and instead, in his drunken state decided to save himself. Hope he gets a life sentence but I know he will gt off with just a few years.

  • Jip

    Castrate the father so he can no longer reproduce. A child looks upon a parent for guidance and protection. This father failed on both counts. What a loser.

  • Life.

    you people sit here and blame the father for being drunk. but i bet neither of you hve ever been to this spill way to know whats its like. the ground changes underneath all the time and i bet that father thought the ground was still the same as it was last time out ther but little did he know that it wasnt not cause he was drunk but because it changes.ive watched cars go underneath the ground time after time again and roll.So dont blame the father for having hias son in a car seat like the law states.blame the water flow for shifting. and you say he didnt try hard i bet he tried evereything he coukld the water flow was just probably just to strong.

    • GC1008

      Life, no one is blaming the father for putting his child in a car seat. In case it’s gotten past your brain, they are angry, outraged, and horrified that someone would be so stupid, so selfish, so irresponsible as to be driving drunk with a child in the car at all. The “law” that you are so big on “stating” says you should not drink and drive. The “law” that you are so big on “stating” says you should not do anything to endanger a child’s life. This idiot apparently did both of those and his child paid with his life. You as as disgusting as he is.

    • Darky

      He was driving drunk, off-road, with his son in the back. His son ended up dead. He is to blame. I go four-wheeling as much as possible, but not drunk. You’re already in a more dangerous scenario than driving on the street, you’re a jackass if you think driving drunk, especially with a child in your vehicle is excusable.

  • Hagop

    This last person is completely missing the point. Dont have the toddler in an offroad side by side attempting dangerous things in the first place, let alone, after drinking. Not smart.

  • vudu

    So let me get this straight…… you told me to not blame the father cause the kid was in a car seat like the LAW states, but then complain because I blamed him for being drunk while driving, whih is AGAINST the law, and for showing poor judgement in general. It sounds to me like you advocate drunk driving and child endangerment, and would in all likelihood have done the same thing he did i given a chance. You belong in jail with him.

  • Hagop

    Leave the kid at home, not off road.

  • Hagop

    If he was my kid, he would not be off road with me. I go four wheeling all the time, but I would never take a toddler with me. Child must be atleast a teenager, with the capability to remove self from vehicle. Great idea dad, lests cross a river with the baby.

    • Darky

      Nothing wrong with taking the child off-road. My first two went out with us between 6-8 months. Now they’re 4 and 6, and love going out in the Jeep. It’s just a matter of thinking about what you’re doing. I wouldn’t try crossing a rushing river at night, nor would I be drunk. I wouldn’t run the Hammers with an infant or Lion’s Back (especially since that one’s closed now) with my kids in the car.

  • Sammy

    I agree with vudu


    to bad the child did not live long enough to make a comment that dad will have to live with this for the rest of his life i hope he surrenders to jesus

    • STEVE


  • Dawn

    You guys all keep saying some really harsh things. This family is well aware of the mistake that happened and they don’t need all of you adding to it. I am a personal friend of the family and their hearts are breaking right now. Was the father irresponsible? YES. However, He is 23 yr old & HE and the mother of the child are the ones that will have to live with this everyday from here on out. To me that is a life long sentence. They don’t need all of you bashing them. All you all know is what the news says so don’t fully judge unless you know them personally & know exactly what they are going through.

    • Darky

      If you’re a close friend, slap the dad for me. No reason in hell why he should’ve been out driving drunk, especially four wheeling, with his child.

  • vudu

    Hey Dawn, im not bashing the mother at all. I can only imagine the pain and suffering she is currently feeling and will continue to feel for years to come. What you seem to be missing is that these are comment forums and as such are open for people to discuss news events as they see fit. I highly doubt the childs mother will be coming here to read what complete strangers have to say. When someone acts as selfishly and recklessly as the babys father did and then ends up taking a life……. its everyones business. Unfortunatly it had to be a childs life this time, but someone who his stupid enough to drink and drive endangers everyone around him. Im sure this wasn’t the first time, and if allowed to remain in society…. it wouldn’t be the last. So yes Dawn, I will comment, an if you really are a family friend, perhaps it best you not read…,?

  • Dawn

    VUDU…I am very well aware this area is for comments. However, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to be on here putting their two cents in and constantly rude about it. How do you know the mother isn’t on here reading this or how do you not know that the 19 year old passenger wasn’t the mother? The mother is NOT the only one who is hurting. The father is hurting & the grandparents are hurting too and the father is paying the price by living with this for the REST of his life. He was irresponsible but we all have been selfish and irresponsible at some point in our lives & put others at risk as well. Im sure you have not always made the most responsible choices in your life & it just takes that one mistake for a tragedy to happen. Unfortunatly, it happened to them. Just to let you know I came on here to see what the news said about the accident and saw all the comments so YES as a family friend I AM going to comment to you all to. Just remember that the family is paying a price too no matter how irresponsible or selfish you think they are. Whatever you have to say from here on out I DON’T CARE. Im just hoping you all keep in mind that they are all hurting and paying a price right now from this and non of you can even imagine what it is like until you live this moment in their shoes!

    • Darky

      I can honestly say I have never put my kids in the Jeep, gotten drunk and gone four wheeling. Murder tends to result from one momentary lapse in judgment, should we let people off for that as well? His actions are directly responsible for the death of his child, he should be thrown in jail for murder

  • vudu

    See my issue wih you is that you seem to think the father feeling bad is punishment enough, while you haven’t said that directly, it seems implied somehow. My father was murdered long before his time and i’ve seen the toll that can take on a family, i imagine it would be more so when the person responsible for the death is also a family member. You really are taking all of this too personally.

  • Phillip

    KCAL9 needs to pick a different clip to show then the one of a dead little baby. If you look closely you can see the baby in the back seat. I know the news always tries to get raw footage and catch things as they happen but come on thats just wrong.

  • vudu

    I would agree. I didn’t see he clip though, im on my phone and don’t watch a lot of video.

  • Isa

    Little Angel May God Protect You In Heaven Comment For The Innocent Child
    let’s not forget he had a soul would like to hear good.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sandwich Generation

Listen Live