Advocate For Illegal Immigrants Killed By Immigrant With Deportation Order
El Paso County, CO – A father-of-five who was a staunch defender of illegal immigrants facing deportation was killed on Aug. 2, when an illegal alien crashed into him.
Sean Buchanan, 45, was riding his motorcycle northbound on Highway 83 when 42-year-old El Salvadorian native Miguel Ramirez Valiente overcorrected into the wrong lane and slammed into him, the Daily Mail reported.
Buchanan died almost instantly.
Ramirez Valiente was driving with a revoked license and was on probation for a drunk driving conviction at the time of the fatal collision, KMGH reported.
Just one day before the crash, Ramirez Valiente’s probation sentence was extended due to his refusal to complete alcohol treatment therapy and community service.
"This family deserves to know who they’re dealing with," one of Ramirez Valiente’s close acquaintances told KMGH. "He's an alcoholic and an abuser."
"My heart broke for this family because this could be prevented,” the acquaintance added.
The illegal immigrant wasn’t immediately arrested for his role in the fatal collision, but was charged with misdemeanor careless driving resulting in death and driving with a revoked license, FOX News reported.
“Most of time we do not arrest on a fatality accident, unless there is a high risk of intoxication, because at that moment we are not sure of charge," Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler told KMGH. "We continue the investigation, and then submit the investigation to D.A.'s office with recommendations, and the D.A. is who actually files the charges on that."
Investigators said that Ramirez Valiente was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash, KDVR reported.
He was transported to a hospital after the collision, and has since been taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"He should have been arrested after the crash," Ramirez Valiente’s acquaintance told KMGH. "He just had a DUI, and he’s driving with no license, and he killed somebody, like you shouldn’t walk away from that."
She said she is concerned that he could take off before he is held accountable for Buchanan’s death.
"My personal opinion is that we don’t do enough to stop this kind of thing because it could have been stopped," she said told KMGH. "You’re here and you’re a hard worker and you’re not causing trouble and doing bad things that’s fine, but he had already been in trouble, several times and now we have a death because of it."
Ramirez Valiente was charged with domestic violence and reckless endangerment in 2016, but those charges were ultimately dismissed by the district attorney’s office in El Paso County, KMGH reported.
He pleaded guilty to the DUI offense in 2018.
In January, Ramirez Valiente hid out at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs for several weeks in order to evade a deportation order while the federal government was shut down, FOX News reported.
He has been slated for deportation for at least eight months, according to the Daily Mail.
ICE spokesperson Alethea Smock said that Ramirez Valiente was first found to be in the U.S. illegally in August of 2005, KMGH reported.
That incident occurred in El Paso, Texas, and the illegal alien claimed he was from Mexico, Smock said.
He was returned to Mexico that same day.
Ramirez Valiente entered the U.S. illegally yet again sometime later, and was arrested by ICE in April of 2011 after his reckless endangerment charge, KMGH reported.
He was issued a notice to appear in immigration court, and was released on bond, Smock said.
After he pleaded guilty to the DUI offense in October of 2018, the Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered that he be removed from the U.S.
In February, Ramirez Valiente asked the office to reopen his case, but his request was denied, Smock told KMGH.
“He is currently in ICE custody and has filed an appeal of the denial of the motion to reopen with the Board of Immigration Appeals,” she added.
Buchanan leaves behind his wife, Kathy, and their children, ages 15, 12, 10, eight, and six, according to the Daily Mail.
“Sean was an advocate for people who were trying to get into our country. He was a huge advocate,” family friend Amy Savage told the Daily Mail. “He just was a man who loved and accepted everyone.”