[symple_googlemap title=”” location=” Standard Avenue and Walnut Street, Santa Ana” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]
Santa Ana police Tuesday asked for the public’s help tracking down a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run collision with a motorcyclist on Friday.
Luis Eduardo Distancia of Santa Ana, 45, is suspected of driving a white 2006 Ford Econoline van involved in the crash, which happened at about 4:45 p.m. Friday at Standard Avenue and Walnut Street, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Eduardo Estrada Luevano of Santa Ana, 36 — a father of five — was killed in the crash, Bertagna said. He had been planning to sell the motorcycle on Saturday and Friday was supposed to be his “last ride,” Bertagna said.
“It’s our belief he knows we’re looking for him,” Bertagna said of the suspect, noting that he had shut down his Facebook account.
Police found the van a good distance away from the crash on the south side of the city, Bertagna said.
Distancia is Latino, about 5-feet-10 and weighs about 160 pounds with brown hair and eyes, Bertagna said.
The van was going northbound on Standard when it turned west on Walnut in front of the victim, who crashed into the front right fender of the van, Bertagna said. A witness followed the van and provided police with a license plate number, Bertagna said. Distancia owns and operates the van, he said.
Distancia has a prior criminal record for driving on a suspended license and drunk driving, according to court records. In April 2012, he was arrested for driving while using a cell phone, failure to prove he had insurance and driving on a suspended or revoked license, according to court records. He never showed for his arraignment, court records show.
Distancia pleaded guilty to driving while on a suspended or revoked license due to a prior DUI conviction on Sept. 14, 2009, and was sentenced to 45 days in jail and placed on three years of probation as well as compelled to use an “ignition interlock device” that would prevent him from driving under the influence, according to court records.
On Aug. 5, 2008, Distancia pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI and driving at an unsafe speed for conditions and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, according to court records.
Distancia pleaded guilty to driving drunk on Nov. 29, 2005, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and ordered to do 56 hours of community service instead of paying a fine, according to court records. He was also placed in an 18-month multiple offender alcohol program, according to court records, which show him violating probation.
Anyone with information on where to find Distancia was asked to call Investigator W. Hadley at (714) 245-8214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at (855) TIP-OCCS.
— City News Service