A 23-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail for a fatal crash investigators said they suspect was part of a series of street takeovers in Costa Mesa, Anaheim and Santa Ana.
Myner Augusto Esquivelvalle, whose 23-year-old cousin Sergio Marroquin Jr. was killed in the Oct. 22 pre-dawn crash in Costa Mesa, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and admitted a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury on the victim, according to court records.
Esquivelvalle has been in custody since Oct. 22, but it was unclear whether he was granted enough credit behind bars to be released immediately. Esquivelvalle will be placed on three years of formal probation.
The pickup truck the suspect was driving overturned at Sunflower and Hyland avenues about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 22. Marroquin died at the scene and a second passenger was hospitalized, according to Costa Mesa police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad.
The criminal complaint lists two other victims besides Marroquin, a man who suffered a wound “requiring extensive suturing” and an unnamed boy who suffered serious injuries.
The driver, who remained at the scene, was arrested, along with four spectators who were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting, Fyad said.
About 80 to 100 vehicles converged on the location from Anaheim, where an earlier 1:30 a.m. collision that same day in the 400 block of North Euclid Street landed an 18-year-old female bystander in a hospital, police said.
It was unclear if Esquivelvalle was also at the Anaheim gathering, but police were told the motorists were headed to Costa Mesa so they alerted police there.
Santa Ana police were called at 1:52 a.m. regarding street racing at 3 MacArthur Place. Several car clubs were gathered at the Home Depot at Edinger Avenue and Lyon Street for about an hour before leaving.
At about 1:30 a.m., one vehicle was doing doughnuts at Majestic Drive and Columbine Avenue and the driver was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving, as well as a felony DUI warrant, police said.
At 2 a.m., police were alerted about 30 vehicles at Maple Street and Columbine. In all, two drivers were arrested on suspicion of reckless driving and three vehicles were impounded, police said.