LOS ANGELES, CA (The Los Angeles Daily News) – It was a day that began like so many others. But in the end, it was a day that would forever change the lives of the Duran family of Arleta.
On the afternoon of Feb. 19, Sandra Duran, 42 — a mother, daughter and sister — was killed in a violent car crash on a rain-slicked road in North Hills.
Los Angeles police say Estuardo Alvarado, the man who allegedly caused the collision, was speeding down Sepulveda Boulevard as he tried to flee the scene of another crash and slammed into a car being driven by Duran, who died at the scene.
Alvarado was arrested moments after the crash.
The 45-year-old Lakeview Terrace resident is an undocumented immigrant with a lengthy criminal record who was deported five times before the collision, according to federal authorities and court records.
He has been charged with five felony counts in connection with the Feb. 19 collision, including murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Alvarado pleaded not guilty to each of the five charges during his arraignment on Feb. 22, Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Jackie Lacey, said in an email.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Alvarado, a Mexican national, has been on their radar for years.
“Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Mr. Alvarado has been removed to Mexico five times since 1998, most recently in 2011,” ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice said in a statement.