3-year-old boy killed in Saugus crash

A 3-year-old boy was killed in a head-on collision between two SUVs in Saugus on Monday night, police said on Tuesday.

The boy, who has not been identified, was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Saugus police said in a prepared statement. His 43-year-old father, who was driving a gray 2005 Volvo XC90, declined medical treatment, according to police and a spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office.

The child was in a safety seat at the time of the crash, but one of the issues being investigated by State and Saugus police and Blodgett’s office is whether the chair was age-appropriate, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, Blodgett’s spokeswoman.


Police responded to the crash on Walnut Street between Elm and Central streets at 10:37 p.m.

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Upon arrival, officers found two badly damaged vehicles, one of them the Volvo, the statement said.

The second car, a white 1998 Ford Explorer, was driven by Daniel Leal Ortega, 40, of Lynn, according to Saugus police.

Authorities said Ortega had been driving without a license and had an outstanding warrant from Danvers for the same offense in 2005.

Ortega was treated and released from a Boston hospital. He was then arrested by Saugus police.


At his arraignment in Lynn District Court Tuesday, Ortega pleaded not guilty to operating without a license. He was held on $1,000 cash bail, Monahan said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by State and local police.

Jacqueline Tempera contributed to this article. Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@
. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.