On October 25, 2008, 25-year-old Phoenix Police Officer Shane Figueroa was responding to a “shots fired” call when his patrol car was hit by a pick-up truck driven by Mexican national Salvador Vivas-Diaz. The impact of the crash sent the officer's patrol car spinning into a cinder block wall.
Officer Figueroa was thrown from the vehicle upon impact.
He was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center where he was soon pronounced dead.
Vivas-Diaz had a history of DUI arrests and had been previously deported. He was drunk at the time he hit Officer Figueroa.
At the time of the crash, the illegal alien had four outstanding warrants against him.
Vivas-Diaz was charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault.
On June 26, 2009, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office issued the following press release:
County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that Salvador Vivas-Diaz (DOB 9/17/58) has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for causing a crash that claimed the life of Phoenix Police Officer Shane Figueroa.
On October 25, 2008 Officer Figueroa was responding to an emergency call when Vivas-Diaz made a left turn in front of the officer near 19th Ave and Roeser. The officer was ejected from his police cruiser and died a short time later. Following the crash, he made no attempt to help the officer. When questioned by police he gave them a false ID. It was later learned that Vivas-Diaz was in the United States illegally. An investigation by Phoenix Police showed that Vivas-Diaz was impaired by alcohol.
On March 23, 2009 Vivas-Diaz pled guilty to manslaughter, a class 2 felony. He was sentenced on June 26, 2009 by Judge Michael Kemp. Deputy County Attorney Allister Adel prosecuted the case.
Thomas stated, “Drunk driving often has deadly consequences. The consequences of Vivas-Diaz’s actions claimed the life of a brave Phoenix Police Officer who died protecting the community. We honor the memory of Shane Figueroa.”
Officer Figueroa had been with the Phoenix Police Department for two years when he was killed. He left behind a wife and a 3-month-old baby.
Vivas-Diaz was sentenced to 16 years in prison, and released July, 14, 2022.
Despite the fact that he is a felon in this country illegally, he has not been deported, but is currently living in Tucson on "community supervision," according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.
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