Repeat DUI driver gets prison time for fatal Provo traffic accident

Ricardo Oswaldo Estrada. Photo: Utah County

PROVO, Utah, Nov. 25, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A convicted DUI driver has been sentenced to up to five years in prison for automobile homicide.

Ricardo Oswaldo Estrada, 27, of Provo, had been charged in the death of 54-year-old Maria Rodriguez on Sept. 17 of last year.

According to police, Estrada was driving under the influence, traveling the wrong direction on University Avenue, on a denied license, when the accident occurred near 5600 N. University Ave.

Police say Estrada’s northbound silver Jeep Liberty had crossed the center line into southbound traffic when he struck Orem resident Rodriguez.

“The impact from the accident killed the female driver of the other vehicle,” said a probable cause statement filed by the responding officer.

“Paramedics reported that when Ricardo was taken into the ambulance, he smelled of alcohol and told them he had consumed alcohol beverages before driving. Ricardo also told paramedics while being transported that he thought he was in Heber City, Utah. He was clearly unaware of where he was at, a consistent side effect of significant alcohol consumption.”

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A warrant was obtained for Estrada’s blood, which was drawn. DUI charges were added. A records search revealed Estrada had a DUI conviction in 2011.

Estrada was charged with:

  • Automobile homicide — causing death with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, a second-degree felony
  • Possession or use of a controlled substance, a class-B misdemeanor
  • Driving on a denied license, a class-C misdemeanor
  • Driving on the wrong side of a roadway, an infraction

In a plea deal, Estrada pleaded guilty to automobile homicide as a third-degree felony. Other charges were dismissed with prejudice.

Since 2005, Estrada has been charged with at least 17 traffic violations in Utah.


  1. 19 years old, so very young. Just getting started really. We can never bring this young man back. He has lost everything. His hopes and his dreams, his friends, his family, his future, his very life has been stolen. He’ll never laugh or cry or hug his parents again. Never marry or travel or brighten someones day. All because some callous, selfish, irresponsible excuse for a human being couldn’t obey the law. Couldn’t call a cab or a friend. Couldn’t set down her keys and walk or even sleep it off. There is no excuse for this. None. I hope the Judge remembers this when it’s time for sentencing.


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