Dad of San Ysidro crash victim: Son doing OK, fighting

Lennox has been updated to "fair" condition
Posted at 2:45 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 20:31:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -The dad of a South Bay boy hospitalized after a car crash in San Ysidro with a suspected drunk driver, gave an update on his son's condition Friday.

Benjamin Lake said his six-year-old son, Lennox, was doing okay and fighting back to good health. Rady Children's Hospital has updated Lennox's condition to fair.

"It's a little bit of a struggle trying to get him to eat food but everyday is a little bit better," Lake told reporters.

Lennox sustained a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, a base skull fracture, and nose fracture as a result of a crash involving a suspect drunk driver last week.

"He asked is his mom was okay, that was his first question," Lake recalled as he was telling his son why he's in the hospital. "He's everything to me. He's the reason why I get up and go to work. I see him fighting so hard. I just want to get him, hopefully, to the best that I can get him.

"Ultimately I'm just thankful that he's still with us," Lake added.

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Lake said the family hopes to take Lennox home in the next week. He said they don't believe any more surgeries will be needed, but his son is battling a bacteria found in his skull Friday.

Lennox can talk though, and his dad said his personality is there.

"He misses his dog. He misses his brothers," Lake said.

Lennox's mother, Ingrid Rutan, was originally scheduled to speak to reporters Friday.

"It's been hard on [Ingrid]. She's doing good, as best she can. She doesn't want to leave his side obviously," Lake said. "We're just thankful we have all our boys."

Thursday, the family released encouraging news of Lennox's condition, saying he's finally able to open his eyes, which have been swollen shut since the crash on May 6.

"Lennox is a joy. He's always a happy kid, from the minute he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed," Lake said. "He's a joy to be around."

The family's vehicle was struck in San Ysidro by a truck that rolled through a stop sign as they were traveling back from a trip to Disneyland. Lennox, who was sitting in the back passenger seat, received the brunt of the collision.


The driver that hit the car, identified as 38-year-old Constantino Banda-Acosta, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and driving without a license. 10News found out soon after the crash that he's been deported at least 15 times since 2002, according to federal authorities. 

"We're just really focused on Lennox right now," Lake told reporters Friday. "We praying that the justice system does what they need to do. But right now I'm just trying to focus on Lennox."

Banda-Acosta bail was raised to $230,000 Wednesday. He's due back in court on May 18.