SAN DIEGO — 29-Year-old Esteysi Sanchez Izazaga pled not guilty on Wednesday to felony charges relating to the brutal hit-and-run death of a 69-year-old man who authorities say was struck by Sanchez’s car and hurled through her windshield early Monday morning in Oceanside, California.
Sanchez is currently in jail and, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, is subject to an immigration hold. She faces felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, hit and run and a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.
An Oceanside Police Department investigation determined that Sanchez was driving around 6 a.m. when her vehicle left the roadway, striking a man who was walking on the sidewalk. The force of the impact hurled the man through the windshield, lodging, him in the passenger seat according to the report.
The man was hit so severely that his leg “detached from his body and flew through the back window, landing on the trunk of the car” NBC 7 reported, citing police findings. Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod said that the impact caused some of the man’s clothing to come off, according to the Tribune. The victim was later identified as Jack Ray Tenhulzen.
Sanchez drove back on the road and continued driving for approximately a mile with the elderly man still in the vehicle before parking, according to Oceanside police. Witnesses contacted authorities and reported seeing her walk away from the scene as officers responded. She is believed to have walked home, two blocks from the car, where her live-in boyfriend called and alerted police.
Officers found Sanchez at her residence and determined that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time the collision occurred. McCleod said that Sanchez was given a sobriety test two hours after the collision and still registered more than double the legal blood alcohol limit at .18, according to the Tribune.
The Deputy D.A. relayed that Sanchez admitted to police that she drank at two locations, claiming that she fell asleep and woke up to her car’s windshield glass striking her face according to the Tribune.
Tenhulzen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sanchez is being held at a Santee detention facility on $1.5 million bail. Her next scheduled court date is July 19. Should she be released, she is subject to be placed in the custody of immigration officials.
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