Driver arrested a year after violent Bixby Knolls crash that killed woman, hurt 5 others

Long Beach police have arrested a 22-year-old man they suspect was driving under the influence when he caused a crash that hurt five people and killed a woman last year in Bixby Knolls.

Authorities allege Juan Alvarado Castellanos was driving a Nissan truck east on Del Amo Boulevard around 10:25 p.m. on June 7, 2019, when he accelerate through the intersection at Orange Avenue as the light was turning red.

In the intersection, his truck broadsided a GMC Yukon that was traveling north on Orange Avenue, police said at the time.

“It was determined that the driver of the GMC was wearing her seatbelt, however sustained traumatic fatal injuries,” police said. Authorities identified her as 49-year-old Rosalva Fierro.

“Four of the five occupants in the Nissan were also wearing seatbelts and those occupants sustained a variety of injuries,” police said.

Following the crash, Castellanos, who was 20 at the time, provided a blood sample at the hospital to determine if he was driving impaired, police said.

Police said that on Nov. 4, 2019, Long Beach detectives submitted a case with the evidence they’d collected to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office for prosecutors to determine what charges would be filed.

On Sept. 30, 2020, prosecutors filed a case against Castellanos and an arrest warrant was issued, according to court records. Officers found Castellanos and arrested him Wednesday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, jail records show.

District Attorney spokesman Ricardo Santiago could not immediately provide details into the investigation or why there was a months-long gap in time between detectives submitting the case and prosecutors filing criminal charges.

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Sebastian Echeverry is the North Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of his grant-funded position with the Long Beach Post. If you want to support Sebastian's work, you can donate to his Report for America position at lbpost.com/support.
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