Meet Santa Ana Truck Driver Who Blames Mercedes Driver For Pedestrian Killing

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

grossvehicularmansl.jpg
Loaded Miranda warning: I was driving "fine"
Let's say you're preparing to turn left in your truck into an apartment complex, see distance traffic approaching and accelerate into the driveway. But a speeding Mercedes strikes the rear portion of your truck, slamming your vehicle into a pedestrian standing on the sidewalk. In that scenario which driver is at fault for the pedestrian's death?

To Orange County's Joel Torrejon Miranda, that hypothetical is all too real and he, the driver of the truck, insists the driver of the Mercedes, Nguyen Tran, is "substantially" at fault for the tragic death of pedestrian Francisco Aquino after the Feb. 1, 2009, incident on Newhope Street in Santa Ana.

Miranda, who'd been undertaking a 43-foot drive to pick up his girlfriend's nine-year-old daughter from a neighboring apartment complex, claims Tran recklessly drove by speeding almost 60 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Tran claims he was going no more than 40 mph.

A defense attorney for Miranda added that Tran should be responsible because he "had the last chance to avoid this accident."

Inside Orange County Superior Court, prosecutors rejected that notion and won a gross vehicular manslaughter conviction against Miranda in Oct. 2010.

But Miranda, who is now in a California prison, claims he's been railroaded and he wants federal judges to overturn his conviction as a travesty of justice.

This month, U.S. District Court Judge George H. King rejected the appeal for the same good reason previously cited by a state appellate court.

On the night of the incident, Miranda said he'd consumed only two beers, but police--who'd searched and found him sleeping on a relative's couch after he'd illegally fled the scene of the fatality--believe he lied about his drinking. Using lab calculations, law enforcement experts say his blood alcohol content (BAC) level registered a whopping .25 at the time of the accident.

(Note: .25 is certainly an incoherent stage but also nearing potential death-by-booze status.)

Miranda, who'd previously been caught driving drunk, continues to maintain that the BAC number is unfairly deceptive because he recalls driving "fine."

Upshot: He'll continue to serve his 20 years to life term inside lovely Folsom State Prison.

He apparently still doesn't understand he should have just walked the 43 feet to retrieve his girlfriend's daughter.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
daniel.estrada35
daniel.estrada35

If the driver of the truck would've been a white guy, Tran would be in Jail today. 


daniel.estrada35
daniel.estrada35

I think Miranda is in Jail because he's Mexican and because he's a beer drinker...right WHITE boys?? 

robincook
robincook

What sucks is that this murderer can get out of prison in 10 years. The person he killed while DUI will still be dead.

Brian J. Arra
Brian J. Arra

A real dirtbag will be a defense attorney that will lie for him in a trial.

Isaac Romero
Isaac Romero

Question: if police didn't find him until after the accident, how do they know his BAC was .25 at the time of the accident? Something doesn't add up here.

joshua.fidelitykeega
joshua.fidelitykeega

THE NATURAL CAUSE IS THE MERCEDES MAKING THE TRUCK HIT THE PEDESTRIAN.  IF HE WASN'T DRUNK WOULD THAT CHANGE THE EVENTS?  NO.  IF THE DRIVER OF THE TRUCK HAD A HEART CONDITION, WOULD THAT CHANGE THE EVENTS?  NO.  THE MERCEDES WENT AT A HIGH ENOUGH SPEED TO FORCE ANOTHER VEHICHLE INTO A SPACE, WHICH HAD A PEDESTRIAN THERE.  ANOTHER QUESTION.  WAS THE PEDESTRIAN WEARING EARPHONES?  OR TEXTING WHILE WALKING?  WHAT MAKES YOU DEAD IS THE REAL QUESTION. 

Lisa Plant
Lisa Plant

Well...duh! Things are never the drunk's fault...always someone or something else.

imgrammadee
imgrammadee

Idiot!  If he was too drunk to WALK 43 feet to the next apartment complex, then he was DEFINITELY too drunk to DRIVE 43 feet.  He got what he deserves.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Even if he hadn't plowed over a pedestrian and killed them..does this moron think it would have been perfectly fine for him to drive drunk with his girlfriend's CHILD as a passenger in his truck?!! Child Endangerment is a crime, too!

mannybanny
mannybanny

@joshua.fidelitykeega  

First off, learn how to type without using all caps.

Miranda is a habitual drunk driver, who was blotto on the day. He made a poor decision to turn, instead of being patient. If he had not turned, his truck may have been struck, but the pedestrian would most likely be still alive.

Then he showed no compassion to fellow human, and fled, then passed out.

And why drive 43 feet? Another poor decision.

He deserves to rot.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Exactly. My aunt the substance abuse counselor and recovering alcoholic will vouch for that. And apparently this guy doesn't view killing someone as "rock bottom". Scary.

roman_archer
roman_archer

@bobmbae @fishwithoutbicycle Yeah! I want to know also! I think "fishwithoutbicycle" would make a good band name.

roman_archer
roman_archer

What a beautiful explanation. Makes me realize how lucky in life I am. Certainly there must be someone out their for such an awesome lady such as yourself. I also think we've gotten way off topic, but it was well worth it.

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

I've been following your OCW comments for a few years. I believe that if we happened to meet sometime, I suspect we would have a good jaw-wag. Enough in agreement to be able to talk, enough disagreement to make me think.

BTW, I'm an _old_ ->married<- guy, I ain't cruisin'.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@roman_archer  

It would make a great band name...but I think it's probably taken. :-) It comes from the famous feminist quote: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle". For me it's not meant as a diss to men but a challenge to the notion that anyone (man or woman) must have a romantic partner to be "complete". I really am a hopeless romantic at heart, and happy for those who have found their "other half"...I'm just not holding my breath waiting for my own "soul mate". If it's mean to happen it will. :-)

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

Loading...