Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Time to read
2 minutes
Read so far

Charges filed against driver that paralyzed Dayton teen

Posted in:
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Madelyn Quiroz and her family listen as Wayne Dolcefino makes her case to the media in front of the Dayton Police Department. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

A driver suspected of causing an accident two years ago that paralyzed Dayton resident Madelyn Quiroz, 18, could stand trial as a juvenile following a probe by an independent investigator and Dayton police.
The victim's family also decried what they say is a mishandling of the original investigation by officers, with city officials promising a review.
The motorist, who is not being identified because she was a minor at the time of the incident, was charged last week under juvenile statutes with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.
She surrendered to authorities and has since made bond.
"The great thing about it is it finally brings a message to juveniles. There are consequences," said Marina Quiroz, the victim's mother.
According to investigators, Madelyn Quiroz was a passenger in the back seat of a car on Jan. 23, 2020, traveling at 96 mph that lost control and went airborne for 10 feet before landing on some railroad tracks. According to reports, the vehicle at one point chased and raced another car before passing it. The driver of the other vehicle, who also admitted he was traveling at a high rate of speed, told investigators the wayward vehicle headed into oncoming traffic traveling about 80 mph, then sped up to 100 mph prior to the crash. The accident occurred on Waco Street, which has a speed limit of 30 mph.
According to Police Chief Derek Woods, the city hired Jesse Prado of JPPI Investigations LLC to review both that case and an unrelated incident, a fatal accident that claimed the life of Allyssa Salazar in July 2020.
"He came in to work on the backside of things, along with one of my investigators," said Woods, who inherited the investigation after becoming chief in January.
The Quiroz family has been fighting for Madelyn from the beginning, and news of the arrest brought great relief, relatives said. The accident left the teenager a paraplegic.
Marina Quiroz said she believes there is much work to be done, especially regarding the initial investigation by the Dayton Police Department.
Quiroz, a former Harris County Deputy and certified advanced accident investigator, said the family even spent their own money looking into the accident, which included enlisting the services of Dolcefino Consulting, operated by former investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino.
"It took a lot away financially, and it took time away from my family to conduct my own investigation," Quiroz said.
The family's review culminated in a November 2021 joint-press conference with Dolcefino in front of the Dayton Police Department.
The Quiroz family and relatives of Salazar both pleaded for a more thorough investigation into the episodes, and Quiroz later appealed to the Dayton City Council for an independent inquiry.
In December, the council hired JPPI.
Both Quiroz and Dolcefino said they support law enforcement but feel there needs to be consequences for what they say was initially a faulty investigation.
"I want people to understand that we expect law enforcement to do the right thing," Quiroz said.
Dolcefino expressed gratitude to city leaders for bringing an outside investigator into the case, but wants to see even more done.
"This investigation should include a housecleaning of everybody that was involved in this case,” Dolcefino said.
Any departmental policy changes or other action will have to wait until after a review, Woods said.