Drunk driver admits killing woman who was walking with her boyfriend

VISTA, Calif. — A drunken driver who struck and killed an Oceanside woman as she walked across an Escondido street with her boyfriend pleaded guilty Tuesday to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Joel Francisco Juan, 33, will be sentenced to four years in state prison on Feb. 13.

Juan was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI — including an enhancement that his blood-alcohol level was above .15 percent when he hit 32-year-old Esmeralda Eusebio Guerrero last June 3.

The prosecutor on the case would not say exactly what Juan’s blood- alcohol level was after the 12:40 a.m. accident. The legal limit is .08 percent.

Witnesses told police that Juan — driving a Ford Ranger pickup — was traveling west on East Washington Avenue near North Ash Street when he approached the couple crossing the street, swerved to avoid Eusebio Guerrero’s boyfriend but instead hit her, Escondido police Lt. Mike Kearney said.

The victim — the mother of a 10-year-old daughter — was taken to Palomar Medical Center with head injuries, multiple internal injuries and two broken femurs. She was pronounced dead a little more than five hours after the crash.

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