IE man with prior DUI convictions charged with fatally striking teen in Newport Beach staff KABC logo
Thursday, May 30, 2024
IE man charged with murder, DUI for teen's death in Newport Beach
Suspect Joseph Alcazar of Fontana is accused of driving drunk with his daughter in the car when he killed Rosenda Elizabeth Smiley in Newport Beach.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A Fontana man with two prior DUI convictions was driving drunk with his 8-year-old daughter in the car when he mowed down a 14-year-old girl crossing the street in Newport Beach, prosecutors allege.

Joseph Alcazar, 30, is facing murder and DUI-related charges and could be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison plus six years, according to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer's office.

Alcazar's arraignment Wednesday was continued to June 14 and he is being held without bail.

Investigators say Alcazar struck and killed Rosenda Elizabeth Smiley of Rialto on Saturday. He also allegedly ran over the foot of a 13-year-old girl.

A statement from the DA's office describes how the events allegedly unfolded:

"On Saturday, May 25, at approximately, 6:49 p.m., 14-year-old Rosenda Elizabeth Smiley, of Rialto, was crossing E. Balboa Boulevard west of Palm Street with two other people against the don't walk sign. A driver stopped to let the group of pedestrians, including Smiley, cross the street, but another driver, later identified as Alcazar, is accused of going around the stopped car and hitting Smiley, who died at the scene of the collision, and running over the foot of a 13-year-old girl."

His blood alcohol level was described as "twice the legal limit."

Alcazar's 8-year-old daughter and another man were in the car, according to the DA's office.

Alcazar has two prior convictions for driving under the influence. The DA's office says one of those previous incidents involved him getting into a single-vehicle crash which left him seriously injured.

"A 14-year-old girl living the California dream enjoying a day of sun and sand at the beach with friends to kick off the beginning of summer is dead because of the selfish decision of a stranger," Spitzer said. "A repeat drunk driver not only took the life of a little girl, but he also endangered the life of his own daughter by getting behind the wheel after drinking and traumatized her and the other young girls who witnessed him hitting and killing a teenager."