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Arrest warrant sheds light on alleged drunk-driving crash in Norwalk that killed 19-year-old

Erles Aguilera was arrested Wednesday and arraigned Thursday on charges of manslaughter, assault with a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and reckless driving.

Marissa Alter

Dec 31, 2022, 12:40 AM

Updated 537 days ago


An arrest warrant reveals new details about a deadly single-vehicle crash in South Norwalk that killed a 19-year-old just a few days after Thanksgiving.
Erles Aguilera was arrested Wednesday and arraigned Thursday on charges of manslaughter, assault with a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and reckless driving.
Aguilera told police he and Oscar Valdovinos, the man who died in the Nov. 27 crash, were at El Mexicano the night before. Aguilera told police he drank two to three beers, according to the warrant. Aguilera, Valdovinos and another friend then got rooms at the Red Carpet Inn and met up with another friend of Aguilera’s and that friend’s girlfriend. The couple would end up being the surviving passengers in the crash. In Aguilera's interview with police, he said he drank two to three more beers at the hotel and smoked two to three joints.
One friend told police that he took Aguilera's keys from him at one point because he knew Aguilera "wasn't OK." When police asked him to elaborate, the friend said, "Was he [expletive] up? Yes. Was he drunk? Yeah, he was. Was he high? I know he was high." He also said Aguilera was a "lightweight when it comes to drinking" and was recently introduced to marijuana, the warrant stated. That friend was still asleep when Aguilera, Valdovinos, and the couple went for a food run in the morning.
The female passenger described what happened to police: "[Aguilera] gets the idea of like, 'Yo, let's go drive around.' I don't say anything because I don't know these people, but I felt like I should have said something because they were drunk, like they were drunk, like really bad, and he starts the car, and we get in the car. Everything was fine until he starts driving reckless. He's cutting off cars. He's going in the opposite lane like nobody is there...”
According to the warrant, "She added that Valdovinos was terrified to get in the truck, and when Aguilera's driving became reckless, Valdovinos looked back at her, saying 'This is not a good idea.'"
The warrant said Aguilera's top speed during the trip was 113 mph. He was allegedly going 96.7 mph at the time of impact.
Norwalk police said Aguilera lost control on Martin Luther King Drive just south of Lowe Street, right at the overpass above the train tracks. The truck went airborne and slammed into the barrier with such force that “the entire right side of the vehicle was sheared off,” said Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Mike Bivona during Aguilera’s arraignment in Stamford Superior Court.
Bivona said Valdovinos, who was in the front passenger seat, had limbs severed and was thrown from the car. The female passenger suffered two broken femurs and “would have been killed if not for where she was,” Bivona told the court. She was in the back middle seat. Her boyfriend, who was to the left of her, was not hurt, according to the warrant. Aguilera suffered a laceration to his head that required five staples. His blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice the legal limit, the warrant stated.
Aguilera’s attorney Michael Corsello said in court that his client has “tremendous ties to the community,” adding he was born in Norwalk, is part of a large close-knit family that lives in the area, and has a wife and two young kids. Corsello told the judge Aguilera served active duty in the military for four years and was discharged for PTSD.
“He needs some treatment, and he’s not going to get it locked up,” Corsello said as he pushed for a bond of $100,000 and house arrest.
Judge Bruce Hudock kept bond at $750,000, citing the fact Aguilera was arrested for alleged DUI on Christmas Day, four weeks after the deadly crash. The judge said it showed “deep reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of the community.”
Corsello countered his client was not indifferent to what happened and said the incident came after Aguilera had visited Valdovinos’ grave.
The crash site now bears a white cross with the words, “In loving memory of Oscar Valdovinos forever 19.” Flowers and candles sit below it.
Valdovinos’ older sister, Maria Valdovinos, described her brother as very funny and very loving. “He always made sure everybody was OK.”

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