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‘A Christmas Story’ director Bob Clark holds the famous ‘leg lamp’ from his holiday classic in this 2003 photo (courtesy Warner Home Video)

An illegal alien suspected of causing a traffic accident and killing movie director Bob Clark, whose “A Christmas Story” has come alongside “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” as a perennial holiday must-watch, has been placed under an immigration hold by federal authorities.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency placed the hold on Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, a Mexican national who was living in Los Angeles as an illegal immigrant, according to a report from Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee.

Agency spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the hold means Valezquez-Nava, when his Los Angeles court proceedings are completed, will be turned over to federal immigration officials and put into deportation proceedings.

In Los Angeles, he was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol and vehicular manslaughter, and was being held on $100,000 bail. If he were able to post bail, he would still be held in custody, but by federal authorities, Kice reported.

Police have reported they believe Velazquez-Nava was driving his sport utility vehicle and steered it into the wrong lane on the Pacific Coast Highway early Wednesday. He struck Clark’s car head-on, and police say Clark and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Velazquez-Nava was tested and had a 0.24 percent blood-alcohol level about the time of the accident, which would be three times what the state law considers enough to be presumed to be driving drunk.

Velazquez-Nava reportedly was driving without a license, and he and a passenger, identified as Lidia Mora, 29, were treated for minor injuries.

ALIPAC reported Velazquez-Nava didn’t have any previous deportations but had been convicted in 2004 in Los Angeles of soliciting a prostitute. Court records revealed he was given 24 months probation and a $1,500 fine after pleading no contest.

Clark’s big success came from his work on the 1983 production of “A Christmas Story,” which tells of the campaign by a 1940s youngster, Ralphie Parker, played by Peter Billingsley, to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.

It also tells how his “Old Man,” played by Darren McGavin, wins a “major award,” which is revealed to be a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg wearing fishnet stockings.

Earlier, Clark had specialized in horror films and thrillers, such as the 1970s, “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things,” and “Murder by Decree.” In 1981, he released the sex farce “Porky’s” and then in 1983 did the adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s memoirs.

According to the Times article, Ariel was studying music at Santa Monica College.

Lyne Leavy, who headed Clark’s production company, Film Classic Productions, said they often were together at night, and were on the highway early Wednesday, although it was unclear whether they were going to get something to eat or going to Ariel’s apartment in nearby Santa Monica.

“[Clark] was a gentleman, one of the nicest people I knew,” his New York business manager, Stuart Ditsky, told the Times. “He always kept his word. He would never hurt anybody or put in anything in his movies to embarrass anyone.”

WND has reported on the growing list of illegal immigrants who have not only ignored U.S. immigration laws, but state laws against drinking and driving as well, killing innocents on the highways in the process, including:


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Alfredo Ramos

Alfredo Ramos: A Mexican national in the U.S. illegally, Ramos was convicted of driving while intoxicated last year, but that didn’t keep him from being behind the wheel after a night of drinking last weekend – and now two teenage girls are dead because of it. According to police, Ramos, 22, slammed the 1998 Mitsubishi he was driving into the rear of a 1994 Plymouth driven by Allison Kunhardt, 17, Friday night in Virginia Beach, Va. Kunhardt and her best friend Tessa Tranchant, 16, were stopped at a traffic light when they were hit from behind. Although both wore seat belts, both died – one at the scene and one after arriving at the hospital. Ramos, charged with manslaughter for the two deaths, was convicted last year of public drunkenness in Virginia Beach and driving under the influence in Chesapeake.


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Carlos Prieto

Carlos Prieto: Suspected illegal alien from Mexico was held in the Salt Lake County jail after running a red light and broadsiding a family of six, killing three, on Christmas Eve 2006. The charging documents say his blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit. The Ceran family, active in local theater and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were returning home after attending a performance of Dicken’s “The Christmas Carol,” which featured several family members, when their car was struck by a truck driven by Carlos Prieto. The crash killed Cheryl Ceran, 47, and two of her children, 15-year-old Ian and 7-year-old Julinna. Cheryl Ceran’s husband, Gary Ceran, 45, and their 19-year-old daughter, Clarissa, and 12-year-old son, Caleb, were injured.


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Marine Cpl. Brian Mathews

Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano: When this illegal alien, working as a landscaper in Maryland, killed Marine Cpl. Brian Mathews, 21, and his date, Jennifer Bower, 24, on Thanksgiving night, 2006, it wasn’t his first accident where alcohol was apparently involved. Nine months before, he was issued four citations and sent home with a friend after a single-car accident when he refused a Breathalyzer test. A policeman’s error resulted in Morales-Soriano – who took advantage of North Carolina’s easy rules to obtain his driver’s license in 2004 – getting his license returned. On the night he killed the young couple, police say his blood alcohol level was measured at .32 – four times the legal level in Maryland for intoxication. Mathews had served 8 months in Iraq and completed another tour of duty in the Pacific.


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Chief of Police Ernest V. Mendoza

Guillermo Paniagua: This 29-year-old Mexican construction worker, living in the U.S. illegally, already had 4 DUI arrests when he slammed his pickup, head-on, into the car driven by Needville, Texas, Independent School District Chief of Police Ernie Mendoza on Jan. 19, 2007. Mendoza died instantly and Paniagua, suffering only cuts and bruises, fled the accident scene into the night. The police officer left behind a wife and four children. Paniagua now he faces first-degree felony murder charges, and failure to stop and render aid.


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Gustavo Reyes Garcia

Gustavo Reyes Garcia: Fourteen previous arrests – including four DUIs – didn’t keep illegal alien Gustavo Reyes Garcia off the road June 8, 2006, when he slammed his SUV into a sedan driven by Sean and Donna Wilson of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., killing them both. Garcia short-circuited the criminal trial for two counts of vehicular homicide while intoxicated and evading arrest by pleading guilty on April 9, 2007. “It was the case that brought to our attention … the flaw in the system,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said.


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Deputy Loren Lilly

Joel Perea and Maurilio Herrera: Police took this death hard – it was one of their own. Deputy Loren Lilly, who had been with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years, was pronounced dead at the scene after his Honda Accord flipped several times after being struck by a Ford Taurus driven by Perea. “Obviously, being in law enforcement, none of us wants to roll up and see one of our fellow officers or deputies on the scene as well,” said one cop. 27-year-old Perea and his passenger, Herrera, 23 fled the scene before being captured.


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Jorge Humberto Hernandez-Soto

Jorge Humberto Hernandez-Soto: Police say was driving more than 100 mph on the wrong side of Interstate 485 when he collided head-on with the car of 18-year-old Min Soon Chang, a freshman from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, killing him. According to authorities, the illegal alien had already been sent back to Mexico 17 times and convicted of impaired driving at least a couple of times before the November 2005 crash.


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Jose Trejo Encino

Jose Trejo Encino: The 27-year-old illegal alien from Mexico admitted to deputies, at the scene of the November 2006 single car accident that killed one of his passengers and injured another, “to drinking a 12-pack of beer earlier in the night,” but not before first trying to throw the cans of beer he still had in his car into the woods before police arrived.

Luis Oscar Garcia: Police said Garcia had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and that his pants were soaked with a liquid that indicated the presence of alcohol when he ran a red light and killed 18-year-old James F. Rogers Jr. of North Jackson, Tenn., in August 2006. The 24-year-old Mexican had been living in the U.S. without a green card for three years.


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Marcos Ramos Medina. Courtesy Yakima Herald Republic

Marcos Ramos Medina: The 35-year-old Mexican had twice been deported when, on Aug. 4, 2005, his car swerved several times across the center line, causing a tractor-trailer rig to jackknife in Yakima, Wash. His car then plowed head-on into the 2000 Lexus driven by Peggy Keller, 53, dean of distance education at Yakima Valley Community College, killing her at the scene. Medina, who was found to have at least eight aliases and falsely identified himself at his first court appearance, escaped serious injury. The case against the Mexican national was declared a mistrial in August 2006 because his constitutional right to remain silent had been violated. It took a second jury only 30 minutes to find Medina guilty three months later.

Miguel Garduno Gonzalez: The 43-year-old was accused of causing an accident near Lakeland, Fla., on Aug. 2, 2006, that left Haines City police officer Phoenix Braithwaite, 24, dead. Gonzalez was driving a van that while passing two trucks on U.S. 17-92 in Osceola County near the Polk County line hit the officer, who was on his way to work. Braithwaite, who was riding his motorcycle, was hit head-on and died at the scene. Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, was not hurt and fled the scene. Two passengers in the van also were not hurt also are illegal immigrants. Gonzalez was being held without bail and the two others were held as material witnesses.


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Pastor Rios Sanchez

Pastor Rios Sanchez: Despite having pleaded guilty to driving without a license in 2005, and similar counts in March and April of 2006, Sanchez was still on the road on Oct. 27, 2006, when he crossed the yellow line near Sanford, N.C., and collided head-on with a stationwagon carrying Helen Meghan Hughes, 22, of Summerville, S.C., Jennifer Carter, 18, of Jacksonville, N.C., and Hughes’ stepbrother, 16-year-old Ben Leonard. All three were killed. The 55-year-old illegal alien was allegedly drunk and carrying a forged residency card.


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Ramiro Gallegos

Ramiro Gallegos: In July 2005, Gallegos had already been charged on three separate occasions with drunk driving. His fourth offence caused the death of Scott Gardiner of Mount Holly, N.C., a father of two young children, when the Mexican citizen’s truck struck Gardner’s station wagon as he drove his family to the coast for vacation.

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Vitalina Bautista Vargas bids farewell to husband in court (courtesy Chattanoogan)

Vitalina Bautista Vargas: Neighbors of Louella Winton said the van driven by Vargas, an illegal alien from Mexico, never slowed down before plowing through Winton’s home, knocking the 91-year-old woman, who had been asleep in bed, against the wall of the house next door and leaving her under the vehicle outside the house. Winton died of complications from her injuries.

As WND has reported, the mayhem on America’s highways isn’t limited to illegals who drive only while intoxicated.

Little caution, critics say, is being exercised when it comes to preventing mayhem on America’s highways as the country witnesses record high numbers of unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured drivers – millions of whom are illegal aliens.

While no one – in or out of government – tracks traffic accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year’s 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.

A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.

Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked – and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.


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Previous stories:

Illegal ignored ‘don’t drive’ warning after drinking

Illegals kill deputy in New Year’s Eve hit and run

Tancredo blasts Senate ‘amnesty’

More illegal aliens tried in gang rapes

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