Prosecutors have declined to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy involved in a fatal car crash on the border between Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles last year that killed two young boys.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a memo filed last month that Carrie Esmeralda Robles-Placencia, who was in training at the time of the accident, was at fault in the accident, but there was insufficient evidence to prove she had committed vehicular manslaughter.
The Sheriff’s Department declined to comment due to pending litigation.
Robles-Placencia was driving a Sheriff’s Department vehicle last November when she received a report of shots fired in the area, the memo said. Though she turned on the car’s lights, the siren was not on as she went through a red light at the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Indiana Street. The memo noted that a bus appeared to block other cars’ view of the sheriff’s vehicle, which hit a Honda Accord before swerving onto a sidewalk.
There, the patrol car hit María Verónica Solís Muñoz, seriously injuring her, and killing her sons Marco Antonio Hernández, 9, and José Luis Hernández, 7. Seven people were injured in total, including a pregnant woman.
In October, Muñoz sued Los Angeles County, the Sheriff’s Department and two sheriff’s deputies — Robles-Placencia and her training officer Vincent Moran. In her suit, she accused Robles-Placencia of speeding and reckless behavior, and said Moran failed to train her properly before she was allowed to take the wheel. The boys’ father also sued Los Angeles County in January, City News Service reported, citing negligence in the deaths of his sons.
The memo noted that Robles-Placencia slowed down before going through the intersection, and was traveling at 14 m.p.h. when she hit the Honda Accord. Prosecutors found she violated code by failing to turn on her siren, but said they could not prove the level of negligence required to charge her with a crime.
Robles-Placencia is still working for the Sheriff’s Department and is assigned to the East L.A. sheriff’s station, the department confirmed.
This story has been updated to include a response from the Sheriff’s Department.