Hit-and-run driver that killed Santa Ana motorcyclist surrenders to police


A suspect in a March 17 hit-and-run collision that killed a motorcyclist in Santa Ana surrendered to police, and his wife also arrested in connection with the case, authorities reported Monday.

Luis Eduardo Distancia, 46, of Santa Ana was allegedly behind the wheel of a white 2006 Ford Econoline van that collided with the motorcycle at Standard Avenue and Walnut Street, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Eduardo Estrada Luevano of Santa Ana, a 36-year-old father of five -- suffered fatal injuries in the 4:45 p.m. crash, Bertagna said.

Police found the van a good distance away from the crash scene on the south side of the city, and authorities identified Distancia as the suspect and sought public help to find him.

This morning, Santa Ana police reported that Distancia had turned himself in and been booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run causing great bodily injury/death.

Police also reported that traffic investigators have arrested Distancia's wife -- identified as 47-year-old Alma Rosa Nave -- and booked her on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact.

According to police, the van was northbound on Standard when the driver turned west on Walnut in front of the victim, who crashed into the front right fender of the vehicle.

A witness followed the van and provided police with a license plate number, Bertagna said. Distancia is the registered owner of the vehicle, he said.

Distancia has a prior criminal record for driving on a suspended license and drunken 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. 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.

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. He was also placed in an 18-month multiple offender
alcohol program, according to court records, which show him violating probation.

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