Fatal Accident Could Have Been Prevented

On February 19, Sandra Duran was driving her 2004 Toyota Camry on Sepulveda Blvd in North Hills.

She wasn't alone in the car.  Her 18-year-old son Christian and his girlfriend Stephanie were with her.

At the intersection of Sepulveda and Plummer, a 1999 Dodge Durango ran a red light and struck Sandra's car on the driver's side.  

Two LAPD officers saw what happened and rushed to help, but Sandra died at the scene.   Christian and Stephanie were injured and have since been treated and released from the hospital.

Police arrested the driver who hit Sandra's car.  His name is Estuardo Alvarado, a 45-year-old Mexican national who is in the country illegally, and has been deported on FIVE prior occasions.

When he hit Sandra's car, Alvarado was fleeing the scene of another accident, one in which he caused damage to at least two other vehicles. No one was seriously injured in that incident.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that Sandra's sister is LAPD Officer Lisa Morales, who was on her way home when she got the call about the accident. 

"When I showed up, my partners knew it was my sister. It was very traumatic."

Officer Morales says the situation is even worse, because it didn't have to happen. 

"...this could have been prevented.  It's sad and unfortunate.  It's going to happen not just to my family but to other families." 

ICE released a statement regarding Alvardo saying:

"Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Mr. Alvarado has been removed to Mexico five times since 1998, most recently in 2011."

According to the L.A. Daily News, Alvardo has a criminal history spanning 27 years with more than 20 felonies and misdemeanors including:

"...being a felon in possession of a weapon, possession of marijuana for sale, the sale or transport of a controlled substance and driving under the influence.

He pleaded guilty or was convicted on several charges over the years.  The remaining cases were either dismissed, not prosecuted or the conclusions were unclear.  It was also unclear how much time he has spent in jail for the convictions."

The L.A. County DA's office says Alvardo has been charged with five felony counts including, murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Alvardo pleaded not guilty to all counts at his arraignment on Feb 22.  

He is being held on $2.23 million bail 

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