PROVO — A man with a long history of traffic offenses has been sentenced to prison for a DUI crash that killed a Provo woman.
Ricardo Oswaldo Estrada, 27, was sentenced Wednesday to up to five years in prison for automobile homicide, a third-degree felony. Credit was given for time he has already served.
Estrada pleaded guilty to the charge, which was reduced from a second-degree felony, in October, about two weeks before a jury trial was set to begin.
In exchange for his plea, additional misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and driving on a denied license were dismissed. An infraction for driving on the wrong side of the road was also dropped.
Police say Estrada was drinking at a family birthday party before getting behind the wheel Nov. 20, 2016. Maria Rodriguez, 54, was killed when Estrada's Jeep Liberty slammed into her car at 800 N. University Ave., near the mouth of Provo Canyon.
"Immediately after the collision, (Rodriguez's) car caught on fire. … Witnesses on the scene found (Rodriguez) in the driver's seat of her car unresponsive with no pulse," charges state.
Paramedics arrived at the crash site and pronounced Rodriguez dead at the scene.
Estrada was still in the driver's seat of his vehicle when police arrived and "was clearly confused but responsive," charges state.
Paramedics at the scene and medical personnel at the hospital reported that Estrada smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech, according to the charges.
Court records show Estrada has been convicted of 17 driver's license violations, five speeding violations, two driver's insurance violations and various other traffic offenses since 2007.7 comments on this story
Estrada pleaded guilty in January 2011 to driving with a controlled substance in his system. His jail sentence was suspended in that case and he instead paid more than $1,200 in fines and was ordered to complete 24 hours of community service, according to court records.
In her obituary, Rodriguez is remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, aunt and sister. Loved ones said she never complained in the face of illness or adversity. Her greatest desire was to care for her grandchildren, they wrote.