Retrial begins for driver accused in San Ysidro hit and run

Retrial begins for man accused in hit and run
Posted at 1:53 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 18:54:12-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The retrial began Thursday for Constantino Banda Acosta, the man prosecutors say was drunk and angry from a fight when he caused a hit-and-run crash that severely injured a 6-year-old returning from a family trip to Disneyland. 

The jury was deadlocked Thursday on whether or not Banda was even at the wheel. Throughout the trial, Banda sat quietly in the courtroom and could be seen smiling at the jury as attorneys laid out their case.

The central question in the retrial is whether Banda or an employee of his construction company, Jorge Adame Ariza, was the one driving.

RELATED: Verdict reached in trial for driver accused in hit-and-run crash that injured boy

Ariza was captured in security footage driving the truck from a restaurant where the two men were drinking.

Ariza claims he turned the wheel over to Banda before the accident happened, which severely injured 6-year-old Lennox Lake of San Ysidro. Authorities say Banda had also been deported at least 17 times before the crash.

Prosecution in the case say the two men were heatedly searching for a man who beat up Banda. Lake’s father says the young boy is expected to testify in the trial later Thursday.

Lake is still receiving extensive treatments for his injuries.

RELATED: Jury deadlocked in case against driver accused in San Ysidro hit-and-run 

Banda was speeding west on Camino de La Plaza around 11:30 p.m. on May 6 when he reportedly ran a stop sign at Dairy Mart Road and crashed his pickup into a Honda Accord carrying the Lake family. 

In September of 2017, a jury found Banda guilty of misdemeanor charges of driving without a license, battery and vandalism. 

The jury was hung, however, on felony charges of hit and run causing death or permanent injury, DUI causing injury and driving with immeasurable blood alcohol causing injury.