Rosa Lua was the third of 4 youngsters. The enjoyable one. The typically irresponsible one. The one who cherished birthdays, holidays and creating elaborate decorations and costumes.
A profitable environmental sustainability skilled, she bungee jumped, skydived, surfed and even tried the trapeze. She additionally needed youngsters. That she was single and older didn’t matter. In July 2015, after weathering a troublesome being pregnant at age 45, Lua gave delivery to twins Zara and Zane, who grew to become her life’s pleasure.
“When she had these infants, it was a giant deal. And for them – (for his or her mom) to be taken away…,” Lua’s older sister, Elena Elliot mentioned Monday, her voice trailing off.
On March 20, 2019, as her twins neared their fourth birthday, Lua was killed by Fernando Leon-Aguilera, a drunken driver, who had been convicted twice earlier than of DUI.
Convicted in July of killing Lua, Leon-Aguilera will likely be sentenced Tuesday in Sonoma County Superior Court docket. Going through 15 years to life, he’ll flip 34 subsequent month.
Lua’s kinfolk mentioned today has been a very long time coming. They imagine the complete legal justice course of – from the night time of the wreck to the jury verdict – has been about Leon-Aguilera: his driving 100 mph at 11 p.m. on Freeway 101, his blood-alcohol content material of 0.156 — practically twice the authorized restrict — his prior DUI convictions.
Lastly, Elliott mentioned, Tuesday’s sentencing listening to will likely be about her sister.
“We’re working by way of our anger,” the Windsor resident mentioned of herself and the remainder of Lua’s kinfolk. “We’re attempting to not make it about him.”
The horrific crash left the youngsters immediately orphaned at an age too younger to grasp that Mommy isn’t coming dwelling.
It additionally thrust Lua’s household into spasms of shock, grief, anger and worry. They’ve needed to adapt to a completely new household dynamic as three generations do their half to heal whereas taking care of Zane and Zara.
“I informed her if you wish to be a mother, science is great as of late. Even in the event you don’t have Mr. Good, you possibly can determine it out,” Elliot mentioned she informed her sister earlier than she bought pregnant. “And she or he did. We informed her, ‘We will likely be your village.’”
A household speaks
By legislation, these affected by crimes are allowed to offer sufferer affect statements to the courtroom. Leon-Aguilera will likely be current as a video summarizing Lua’s life performs and no less than 4 members of the family will inform him, and the remainder of the world, what Lua meant to them and what trauma his actions have unleashed on an prolonged household that stretches from Windsor to San Francisco to Piedmont within the East Bay.
Elliott, their brother Carlos, Lua’s niece and her goddaughter might make statements to be heard by the sentencing decide.
They may inform the courtroom about Lua as a toddler, how she examined her mom by at all times asking why and questioning authority. They’ll share how she was born in Placerville and grew up in Sonoma County, graduating in 1991 from El Molino Excessive Faculty. She then earned a psychology diploma from UCLA.
She cherished to be inventive, whether or not cooking, stitching, baking, making soaps or adorning cookies, her sister mentioned.
Lua adored holidays and was the chief decorator and costumer for household events. A few of her favourite images are these of her youngsters in elaborate
Halloween costumes or Christmas outfits. When she was pregnant, Elliott wrote S and P on her sister’s stomach for “salt” and “pepper,” which the youngsters had been for his or her first Halloween.
“We miss her loopy,” Elliott mentioned.
‘It’s catch and launch’
The night time she was killed, Lua had been doing laundry and adorning Easter cookies along with her youngsters at her mom’s home in Windsor.
“She was folding a pink shirt,” Elliott mentioned. “I mentioned, ‘Don’t keep up too late, simply put Zane and Zara to mattress and get going.’ She yearned for these youngsters. Folks mentioned she was loopy, however she mentioned ‘I’m going to show to the world that I can do it.’”
Elliott mentioned she is not going to lash out at Leon-Aguilera through the sentencing listening to, although she mentioned she hopes he’s remorseful. She’s simply as offended at society and the legal justice system that allowed a two-time drunken driver to stay on the roads.
“Once I first was informed about his historical past, I used to be in disbelief,” she mentioned. “How may somebody with two DUIs be driving with a legitimate driver’s license? They allow you to undergo the system till you harm somebody.
“It’s catch and launch. I don’t assume anybody is wanting on the system as a complete. One thing tragic has to occur to have a look at the system.”
The overwhelming majority of DUI arrests are misdemeanors, the place nobody is killed, in accordance with state and nationwide visitors statistics compiled by the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration on the Division of Motor Autos.