Manslaughter Charge for Fatal DUI Crash
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March 14, 2023 – Santa Barbara County, Ca. – It’s been ten months since that fatal day in May of 2022 when 50-year-old Lompoc resident Shirley Cavazos Juarez was struck down and killed in the alleyway behind her residence by a careening Ford Expedition driven by 28-year-old Miriam Aidee VelaEstrada.
But on March 13th, VelaEstrada, also a resident of Lompoc, was formally arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death or serious permanent injury.
According to Lompoc Police Department spokesman Sgt. Vincent Magallon, it was late on the night of May 23, 2022 when VelaEstrada, “driving a vehicle at a fast speed through the alley” between residences “lost control and struck a gas meter and a fence before hitting the woman.” At that point, VelaEstrada abandoned her Ford Expedition and “ran away from the scene,” only to return some time later.
City surveillance cameras recorded the violent incident, showing VelaEstrada’s SUV “going airborne” before striking Juarez and ultimately slamming into a building and coming to a halt. Immediately prior to the crash, VelaEstrada’s estranged husband Jorge Luis Munoz Ortega attempted to prevent her from driving off and suffered “a fractured pelvis and head lacerations” as a result.
VelaEstrada was arrested and booked on the aforementioned charges at the Santa Barbara County Jail. She posted bond on a bail amount of $100,000.
by Robert L. McCullough