Community Honors Killed Bus Driver

Hundreds paid their final respects to Juan Luis Espinoza

Bus 106 was Juan Luis Espinoza's bus, while transporting San Benito school district students on route 11.

It was parked outside St. Ignatius Catholic Church Tuesday, in his honor. Hundreds inside paid their final respects to the 38 year old bus driver, who was killed Feb. 22 in an early morning crash. Felipe Sanchez, Jr. remains behind bars on intoxication manslaughter charges for Espinoza TMs death.

Manuel Obregon, friend of the family, said he hopes justice will be served.

"He was headed to work, doing nothing wrong, when a senseless drunk driver took his life, Obregon said. For me, the only just thing is to punish him for life."

Obregon said his own son-in-law was also killed by a drunk driver also in San Benito. The man was found guilty and sentenced to only seven years in prison. Obregon considers that too light of a punishment for taking a life.

"I guess people think it's just so easy to drink and get on the road," Obregon added.

Several fellow San Benito school district bus drivers attended the services as well. They said it's something Espinoza would've done for any of them.

Director of Transportation Rolando Monsevalles said every week he and his staff meet to discuss safety issues, and watching out for drunk drivers on the road is something they will definitely continue looking out for.

"We can use this as a teaching opportunity, that those that follow the rules and do what's right many times are brought into a circumstance that is not right, Monsevalles said. But we're going to use that and bear it as our cross to continue with that task that we have.

Espinoza is survived by his wife, a 14-year-old son, parents and siblings.