NORTH HILLS, Calif. (CBS/AP) — Charges have been filed against an undocumented immigrant with a lengthy criminal past for his alleged role in a crash that killed a 42-year-old mother of two.
Sandra Duran, who was engaged to be married, was killed on her way home from church on Feb. 19, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Estuardo Alvarado, 45, is accused of killing Duran in a T-bone collision while fleeing the scene of another crash in North Hills, California.
Citing court records, the Southern California News Group reported Alvarado has been charged with more than 20 felonies and misdemeanors since 1990, including being a felon in possession of a weapon, possession of marijuana for sale and the sale or transport of a controlled substance. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Alvarado also had three prior convictions for driving under the influence.
Federal authorities say he is in the country illegally and has been deported to Mexico five times since 1998, most recently in 2011.
Alvarado is facing five felony charges including murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for his alleged role in the crash. He pleaded not guilty at his Feb. 22 arraignment and is being held in lieu of more than $2 million bail.
“Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Mr. Alvarado has been removed to Mexico five times since 1998, most recently in 2011,” ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said in a statement.
At the time of the crash, Alvarado was driving a Dodge Durango. Police said he tried to pass cars and struck a parked vehicle, then hit Duran’s car while attempting to leave the scene at high speed. Police officers and witnesses rushed to help Duran but could not save her.
Two other family members were in the car with Duran at the time of the crash. They both are recovering from their injuries.
Crushed by the loss of their daughter, Duran’s parents and family tried Tuesday to comprehend the circumstances of their daughter’s death.
“I was there at church … and I was sitting right next to her,” Anthony Campos, Duran’s nephew, told CBS Los Angeles. “When I got the news, I was just shocked. I didn’t know how to react because I was just with her.”
“When your daughter disappears from one morning to the next couple of hours, it just hits everybody,” said Santos Duran, the victim’s father.
“It hurts when somebody out of nowhere just takes your daughter’s life, and then you see the record he had … Why is this guy on the streets?” he asked. “Why didn’t they put him away?”
Duran was one of four daughters, and also had a brother. Even in a big family with two kids of her own, she stood out, bringing heart and life to any room, her family said.
“We’re trying to make a good living, good life for us,” Santos Duran said. “All of a sudden, it’s just destroyed.”