Courtesy Photo

Sandra Duran

On behalf of my cousins, the Duran family, I am writing this.

On Feb. 19, my cousin Sandra Duran was tragically killed when a man who was under the influence ran a red light at a high speed while fleeing from another accident he caused.  

The driver Esturado Alvarado, who allegedly caused the collision, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) at the time of the accident. He has prior convictions of DUI and other crimes against him. He is also an undocumented immigrant, which makes my cousin’s death controversial. 

You see, Esturado Alvarado had been deported and arrested five times. He has been charged or convicted 20 times for felonies and misdemeanors his crimes include being a felon in possession of a weapon, possession of marijuana and sales, and prior DUI charges. The question that is on everyone’s mind is how was he able to get away with these charges and not be convicted? 

Because of his legal status and crimes that he committed, our family is all for the removal of dangerous criminals such as Esturado Alvarado — not because he is Mexican or an immigrant but because he is a danger to society. As you can well see he killed an innocent woman and endangered her oldest son Christian Galvan 18, and his girlfriend Stephanie Garcia 18, who at the time of the accident were in the vehicle.  

We are very thankful that both will survive the crash. Garcia, however suffered internal injuries and spent the week following the accident in the hospital.  

The Duran family is not against immigrants who come here to make a better life for themselves. We like anyone else just want justice, time to grieve and make sense of the events that took place.

They want to know, like many of us, why Esturado Alvarado was a free man for all his prior crimes. The hardest part is for her 12 year old son, who has to go through life without his mom, and her soulmate, Rodrigo, who will never marry his true love. 

Sandra’s parents will never be graced again by her physical presence, and her siblings long to just hold her again. My family was robbed of a beautiful Angel, known for her smile. We can only take comfort that an Angel on earth is now an Angel in heaven.  

However, it pains us to know the her death could have been prevented.

Emily Carranza was also a cousin of Gabriel Fernandez, the eight-year-old boy who died from repeated physical abuse and torture. His mother Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, were arrested and charged with capital murder.