Lodi Police say there may be homicide charges in the crash from last Tuesday that killed five members of a Lodi family -- including a woman who was seven months pregnant -- leaving a 9-year-old boy orphaned. - click here for funeral announcements -
At a press conference this morning, Lodi Police Chief Mark Helms told reporters that the deadly crash was not an accident.
"The Lodi Police Department is handling this case with the importance of a homicide investigation. And as such, this investigation will take months to complete," Helms said.
Chief Helms says 28-year-old Ryan Morales had been drinking before the crash, and was speeding when he hit the vehicle carrying the Lodi family.
"It does appear that Mr. Morales had consumed alcohol prior to the collision, and we are waiting for test results that will give us a more accurate picture to what degree alcohol was a factor," Helms said.
Morales is still in the hospital, and has not yet been arrested.
"But he is being monitored by an on-duty Lodi Police officer around the clock. It is our information that it is unlikely that Mr. Morales will be released from the hospital any time soon," Helms said.
Chief Helms says their ongoing investigation will look into several factors, including the speeds of the vehicles involved, and whether the traffic signal was working properly.