Additional Charges Placed on Driver Responsible for Rte. 28 Crash

Loudoun County, Virginia (October 3, 2023) – It is with much sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of Cesar Yepez, 33, of Centreville, who tragically lost his life as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash in Sterling on September 18, 2023. Jose Padilla Espinoza, 18, the individual responsible for the crash, was charged in connection with this incident, and new charges have now been added.

On September 18, deputies from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) responded to a motor vehicle crash on Route 28 near Sterling Boulevard involving an overturned semi-truck that was on fire. The preliminary investigation revealed that a black Nissan Altima, driven by Espinoza, was going southbound on Route 28 when it struck the semi-truck from behind, causing it to overturn and catch on fire. The Nissan also struck a Toyota Prius. Two bystanders were also injured when they assisted by pulling Mr. Yepez away from the fire.

After an investigation by the LCSO’s Accident Reconstruction Unit, it was determined that Espinosa was traveling significantly above the speed limit at the time of the crash.

Mr. Espinoza was arrested and initially charged with Forging Tags and Driving Without Insurance. On October 2, 2023, LCSO obtained additional charges on him, as follows:

  • Involuntary Manslaughter;
  • Reckless Driving;
  • Aggressive Driving;
  • Failure to Observe Lanes Marked for Traffic; and
  • Passing When Overtaking a Vehicle

Espinoza was arrested last evening and transported to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center where he is being held on no bond.

The LCSO reminds all motorists of the importance of obeying speed limits and driving in a safe and responsible manner. The consequences of reckless driving can be devastating and far-reaching.

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