Family of bus driver killed in drunk driving wreck makes public plea
Sat, 02 Mar 2013 05:08:48 GMT —
San Benito Consolidated Independent School District bus drivers honk their horns as they pass the spot where their colleague Juan Espinoza died last week along FM 732.
The gesture of love can be heard from a makeshift memorial where Juan's mother Minerva Espinoza and sister Oralia Elorza are gathered around it to grieve.
"I want him back," Oralia said.
The 38-year-old was killed on February 22nd when his motorcycle was hit head on by another vehicle near Leal Elementary School..
Juan was on his way to work at the time.
Police say the other driver, 21-year-old Felipe Sanchez, Jr., was drunk.
"We need to get letters," Oralia said. "We need to petition. We need to bring up the sentence for drunk drivers. I mean when are they going to stop."
The victim's family wants the suspect to receive the maximum punishment possible with no plea deal.
They're asking for the public's help in the name of all victims of drunk driving.
"I'm asking for letters," Oralia said. "I'm asking for [the public] you to email me so I can present them to the D.A. so he doesn't get a lesser [sentence]... I don't want him to get a plea bargain."
It's a fear that only adds to their pain.
Oralia knows her brother's smile will only live on in her memory.
She wants his killer to live out as much of his life behind bars.
"You have to pay," she said.
The suspect was denied bond last week.
Court records show Sanchez also had served six months in jail for deadly conduct and was out on probation at the time of his arrest for Espinoza's death.
Authorities had filed a motion to revoke his probation back in January for violating the terms of his release, according to the records.
If anyone would like to write a letter pushing for the maximum punishment in this case, can email the victim TMs family here: email@example.com