Santa Ana man pleads guilty to manslaughter, DUI in April hit-and-run crash

by in News

SANTA ANA — A 38-year-old convicted drunken driver pleaded guilty Wednesday, May 15, to an alcohol-fueled hit-and-run collision that killed a homeless woman in April.

Alberto Solano Diaz of Santa Ana admitted a felony count of hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury and one misdemeanor count each of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to court records.

Diaz is scheduled to be sentenced June 7.

An officer on patrol saw the victim lying in the road just after midnight on April 24 on Standard Avenue, north of Edinger Avenue, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Investigators could not determine whether 40-year-old Leticia Marquez, who was in a crosswalk, was crossing against a red light at the time she was struck, he said.

Marquez was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A couple of blocks away from where the victim was found, police came across an unoccupied car that had major front-end damage. Bertagna said officers spotted Diaz, who exhibited signs of intoxication, walking away from the car and detained him.

Albert Solano Diaz, 38, of Santa Ana was arrested Wednesday, April 24 on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run after striking a woman with his car. (Photo Courtesy of the Santa Ana Police Department)

Diaz pleaded guilty on Nov. 4, 2009, to misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of .08 and driving without a valid driver’s license. He was placed on three years of informal probation and ordered to pay $440 in fines and participate in a first-offender alcohol program for three months, according to court records.

Since then, he has had his probation revoked and reactivated due to failure to pay the fines, court records show.