By Suzanne Phan
SACRAMENTO, Calif.(KXTV) - A 12-year-old boy is dead and his mother is facing charges of driving under the influence and felony manslaughter.
According to relatives, the family was on the way to deliver Sunday morning newspapers when their Suburban crashed around 4 a.m. Eric Hill was in a vehicle with histwo younger sisters. Eric's mother, Tyesha Garrett, was driving the car.
In front of them at the time was another vehicle with Eric's brother, Adrian. That vehicle was being driven by Eric's grandmother.
"They were on their way to do paper routes, my mom got on the freeway first. She (Tyesha) got behind my mom," said Eric's uncle, Derrick Garrett.
CHP officers said Tyesha was heading down the Northgate Boulevard onramp to westbound I-80 when she lost control of the Suburban. The car went off the left shoulder, and flipped over several times.
"We were ahead of them. My mom called us panicking and told us the car flipped over. And we turned around," said Adrian Hill, Eric's brother.
Eric, who didn't have a seatbelt on, was thrown from the vehicle when the windows shattered, according to the CHP.
"I got out of the car and saw my brother on the floor by the newspapers and stuff," said Adrian.
"My sister told my mom that he was trying to put his shoes on so he took his seatbelt off," said Derrick.
Eric's 3-year-old sister was safely restrained in her car seat. His 10-year-old sister sitting in the front passenger seat was not injured. Tyesha was taken to the hospital to be treated and then booked into Sacramento County jail. CHP officials said they believe Tyesha was driving under the influence.
But, relatives believe otherwise.
Right after the accident, they say Tyesha called her mother to say "someone cut her off and she tried to hit her brakes and it tipped the car over," according to Derrick.
Loved ones are torn about what happened.
"She was asleep for a long time. That's why we woke up late going to the warehouse. I don't think she was really under the influence of anything," said Adrian.
However, when asked again about the allegations that his mother was under the influence of alcohol or any substance, Tyesha's son Adrian said, "She possibly was, but I really don't know."
For now, Adrian says he's remembering his brother Eric, how he loved to laugh and just joined the junior Giant's baseball team.
"I just got to keep thinking about all the positive things about my brother," said Adrian.
Tyesha was being held at Sacramento County Jail on bail of $150,000. She is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday afternoon for her first court appearance.
"It's just sad to see that my brother's gone and to see my mother is somewhere else," said Adrian.