Serial DUI driver sentenced to 20 years

SANTA ANA, Calif. Joel Torrejon Miranda, 42, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 4, 2010, of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and fleeing the scene of an accident.

Miranda's three prior DUI convictions were in 1995, 1997, and 2004.

Prosecutors say Miranda was heading south on Newhope Street in Santa Ana with two female passengers. He suddenly made an unsafe left turn across the northbound lanes in front of oncoming traffic.

Nguyen Tran, 36, was driving north on Newhope Street in his Mercedes-Benz sedan and hit his brakes, but was unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with Miranda's truck.

After crashing into Tran, Miranda's truck rolled onto the curb and hit 44 year-old pedestrian Francisco Aquino.

Aquino was transported to UCI Medical Center with severe head injuries. He died two days later.

Miranda fled the scene on foot, leaving his two female passengers seated in the vehicle.

Officers from the Santa Ana Police Department arrived at the scene and found beer containers in the bed of the truck.

Officers located Miranda at his home and arrested him.

Tests show Miranda had a blood alcohol level of .23 percent, almost three times the legal limit.

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