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Man gets prison for fatal crash in East County while fleeing U.S. Border Patrol

A man who crashed a car while fleeing from U.S. Border Patrol agents near the Thousand Trails campground in East County, killing one of his passengers, was sentenced Friday to more than four years in federal prison.

Kevin Antonio Quevedo-Moncada, 23, of Lake Forest, was sentenced to 51 months in custody following his guilty plea in San Diego federal court last year to charges stemming from the Christmas Day 2021 crash.

Authorities said he crashed into a tree after speeding away from Border Patrol agents just before 6 p.m., Dec. 25, 2021.

According to prosecutors, the defendant picked up three people who entered the U.S. without authorization and were hiding in the Otay Mountain Wilderness, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

After Border Patrol agents attempted to stop his car near the Thousand Trails campground, Quevedo-Moncada drove off “erratically’’ through the campground and struck a Border Patrol agent’s vehicle that prosecutors said was blocking the exit.

Prosecutors alleged he was driving up to 93 miles per hour on a winding, dark, rain-slicked road during the ensuing pursuit.

Quevedo-Moncada lost control of the car and crashed down an embankment and into a tree off Otay Lakes Road.

One of his passengers, 52-year-old Gaudencio Gerardo Luna-Vasquez, died at the scene. Two others sustained critical injuries and were hospitalized. One of them, who was 19 years old, suffered injuries so serious he was placed in a medically-induced coma, according to court documents.

After the crash, Quevedo-Moncada climbed out of the car through the front windshield and fled, but was caught and arrested, prosecutors say.

According to court documents, he was to be paid $2,000 for the endeavor and had previously transported people who had entered the U.S. without permission.

A sentencing memorandum from his defense attorney stated Quevedo-Moncada began taking part in smuggling due to his family’s dire financial situation.

He told investigators that upon encountering a Border Patrol vehicle, one of the passengers told him, “Go, go, go!” and while in a panic, he sped off.

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