Courtesy Photo

Sandra Duran

Lake View Terrace resident Estaurdo Alvarado, 45, is scheduled to appear at the San Fernando courthouse next Tuesday, March 14. He was arrested after his car plowed into a car driven by Sandra Duran, a 42-year-old mother, and killed her on Feb. 19 near the corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Plummer Street in North Hills.

Alvarado, suspected of driving under the influence, was speeding on rain slicked streets fleeing another crash he had just been involved in.

He now faces five felony counts, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

This crash, has been made more tragic by thrusting Duran’s family into a very public spotlight after it was learned that Alvarado is an undocumented immigrant with a lengthy record.

Media has relentlessly knocked on the door of their Arleta home at all hours of the day and night, so much so the family has discussed going away for a few days. One family member told the (italics) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol, (italics ends) “They just want and need some privacy and time to grieve.”

The family has also expressed not wanting to become a political football or the death of their loved one being used to push forth a political agenda. However, they do agree that this tragedy could have been avoided if Alvarado didn’t return to the United States after being deported five times.

This tragedy comes following President Trump’s increased immigration enforcement and stories of ICE picking up people while they drop their kids off at school, or at home or work. On Jan. 25, Trump signed Executive Order 13768 which, among other things, significantly increased the number of immigrants considered a priority for deportation

Duran’s sister Juanita Hernandez acknowledged the many who come to this country are not like Alvarado,“There’s a lot of good people that have come to this country to make a living and a life for themselves.” But, in Alvarado’s case, she believes that he needs to be put away for good so that he doesn’t cause more pain to any other family.

Santo Duran looked crestfallen, but he patiently spoke to the media who appeared at his door. He described his daughter Sandra as a “Daddy’s girl.” He said the day began like any other Sunday, a day when the family would normally go to church and have a Sunday breakfast together. But on this particular Sunday, life was a little more rushed and his daughter didn’t cook her usual pancakes or scrambled eggs for them.

“She was always laughing and always had a smile. She loved cooking for the family and wanted to be there for any special occasion,” he said.

Now, he said, there is such a void in their family.

“We all miss her and it will be there until my last dying breath. I was blessed to have a daughter like her.”

He said that this tragedy should remind people that every day is not promised and to always tell your loved ones how you feel, whether it is to tell them, “I’m sorry,” or “I love you.”