Case # 14CF2899
Date: April 9, 2015
DRIVER SENTENCED FOR HIT AND RUN CRASH AFTER RUNNING RED LIGHT AT INTERSECTION AND CRASHING INTO SUV KILLING PASSENGER AND INJURING DRIVER
SANTA ANA – A driver was convicted and sentenced today for a hit and run crash after running a red light at an intersection and crashing into a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that killed a passenger and injured the driver. Guillermo Flores Velasquez, 45, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful manner of driving without gross negligence. He was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to pay restitution.
At approximately 7:10 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2014, Velasquez was driving his Dodge Stratus traveling westbound on Santa Ana Boulevard approaching a red light at the intersection of Broadway in Santa Ana.
At that same time, 58-year-old Jose Rodriguez-Quiroz was driving with his wife 56-year-old Maria Rodriguez, who was seated in the right rear passenger seat of their Nissan Xterra sport SUV, traveling northbound on Broadway approaching Santa Ana Boulevard. As Rodriguez-Quiroz drove through the intersection on a green light, the defendant struck the rear of the victim’s SUV causing Rodriguez-Quiroz to lose control of his vehicle and slam into a tree.
Following the crash, Velasquez approached the victim’s SUV but returned to his car and fled the scene. Jose Rodriguez-Quiroz was taken to Western Medical Center to be treated for fractures in both of his ankles. Maria Rodriguez suffered a severe neck injury as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead on Sept. 5, 2014.
The Santa Ana Police Department investigated and located the defendant a day after the crash and arrested him.
At the sentencing today, the victim’s children delivered impact statements to the court. They described how devastating it was to learn about the crash and their lives have felt empty without their mother. They also talked about the emotional hardships of being at their mother’s side at the hospital for four days before she died.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.