Driver with History of DUI Convictions Charged with Murder in Fatal Fresno County Crash

Fresno, California – Murder charges have been filed following a tragic car crash in Fresno County that claimed the lives of a husband and wife last weekend. The California Highway Patrol revealed that David Alvarado, 54, from Madera, is facing charges after allegedly causing the accident while under the influence. The crash occurred when Alvarado rear-ended a car stopped at a red light, resulting in the deaths of Mary Hardin, 65, and her husband Paul Hardin, 69, missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Helotes, Texas.

The Fresno County district attorney decided to press murder charges against Alvarado based on his extensive history of driving under the influence, including six prior convictions dating back to 1997. Despite this, Alvarado was reportedly driving without a license at the time of the accident, with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. Mary Hardin passed away at the scene of the crash, while her husband Paul succumbed to his injuries in the hospital two days later.

Alvarado pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday, and his bail was set at $2.7 million. The crash, which took place on northbound Highway 41, occurred late Saturday evening in an agricultural area south of Fresno. The Hardins, in their Nissan Sentra, were waiting at a red light on Manning Avenue when Alvarado’s Ford F-250 collided with their vehicle. The impact also caused their car to hit a Chevrolet Camaro in front of them, resulting in minor injuries to the Camaro’s driver and to Alvarado himself.

The tragic incident has shed light on the devastating consequences of driving under the influence, especially for the families and loved ones left behind. The Hardins’ dedication to their missionary work in Fresno adds a somber note to the senseless loss of their lives in such a preventable tragedy. The legal proceedings against Alvarado serve as a stark reminder of the importance of responsible driving and the severe penalties that can result from reckless behavior on the road.