A mother whose 4-year-old son died after a violent car crash testified the boy’s father never checked on his condition over the eight days he was in the hospital.
Nancy Snyder gave her tearful account at the trial of 41-year-old Angelo Fabiani, who faces charges of child endangerment and leaving the scene of an injury crash. On June 2, 2013, his Nissan Titan crashed along an Interstate 5 embankment, leaving the vehicle at an upside-down 45-degree angle and his son Valentino hanging out of the window by his seat belt.
Fabiani cut the child’s belt using a tool from his truck, and the child fell 10 feet to the concrete below.
The defense said the boy died during the crash from a direct impact with a palm tree, while prosecutors claim that fall gave him a lethal head injury.
Snyder recalled coming home from work that day. She expected Valentino home around bedtime, so she texted Fabiani, saying she was home and he could drop their son off at any time.
Fabiani said the two had spent a perfect day at the beach, so his plan was to take Valentino to his mother’s house that evening. But when Snyder hadn’t heard from Fabiani by 8 p.m., she started to worry.
“And then 9 o’clock rolled around and I just kept leaving him message after message but got nothing in return,” said Snyder.
Later that night, her brother called her and told her to get a hold of the California Highway Patrol. An officer said Valentino was in the hospital.
For more than a week, Synder stayed by her son’s side. “I never left for a minute,” she testified.
But she also never got a call, text or visit from Fabiani, she said. Valentino died eight days later on June 10.
Fabiani did not testify Monday, but he told NBC 7 that the crash knocked him out and he was in a state of shock when he emerged from the wreckage. He said he recalls being underneath the truck and seeing his son’s little arm dangling from the truck.
When he saw a lot of blood, his only thought was “I have to get him out,” Fabiani said.
A witness told the court she could not believe Fabiani did not yell to passersby below to try to catch his son. The defense played dramatic 911 tapes to demonstrate how chaotic those moments after the crash were.
“By the freeway, by the road,” a caller is heard saying. “Oh my God, there’s a baby in the car!”
Fabiani had previously told NBC 7 that he walked away from the crash because he couldn’t bring himself to see his son like that. He walked 19 miles to Imperial Beach and sat alone near the water – a place where he would often play with his son.
Alcohol did not play a factor in the crash, investigators said. Fabiani faces a maximum of six years and eight months in prison if found guilty on both charges.