An illegal immigrant who received positive press coverage during his fight against deportation earlier this year struck and killed a father of five in Colorado on Aug. 2 while driving without a license.
According to press reports, Miguel Ramirez Valiente was charged with careless driving with a revoked license after he over-corrected his truck while driving on a state highway near Colorado Springs, hitting Sean Buchanan.
Buchanan was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by Ramirez Valiente, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador 14 years ago.
Ramirez Valiente has several prior charges on his arrest record.
According to Denver’s ABC news affiliate, The Denver Channel, Ramirez Valiente was charged with reckless endangerment in 2011 and domestic violence in 2016. Both cases were dismissed by the El Paso County district attorney.
Last year, Ramirez Valiente’s driver’s license was revoked after he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence, according to The Denver Channel. His probation for that charge was extended Aug. 1, a day before he hit Buchanan, because he had not finished his community service and therapy for alcoholism.
It is not clear if Ramirez Valiente was inebriated when he struck Buchanan, but a close acquaintance of Valiente’s says he has a history of alcohol abuse.
“He’s an alcoholic and an abuser,” the person told The Denver Channel.
“This family deserves to know who they’re dealing with,” the person said.
CNN did not cite Ramirez Valiente’s rap sheet when the network published a sympathetic profile of him in January, after he took refuge in a Colorado Springs church to avoid deportation.
Ramirez Valiente said during a press conference at the church that he came to the U.S. 14 years ago from El Salvador, where he says he fled gang violence.
He first came on the radar of U.S. immigration authorities in 2011, following a traffic stop. He claimed in the press conference that he had been fighting his immigration case for eight years, and that he had never missed an immigration hearing.
Buchanan’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral and other expenses.
He is survived by his wife and five children, ages six through 15.
Please, we urge you to help if you can.