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Victim's Family Blames Federal Government For DWI-Related Fatality

Posted February 7, 2006
Updated November 30, 2007

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— The daughter of an Orange County woman killed in a crash blames the federal government for her mother's death, saying the suspect never should've been on the road, let alone in the country.

"It's wrong, it's all wrong," said Stacy Koon.

Koon's mother, Faye Coleman, was driving along Highway 86 on Jan. 21 when she was killed in a head-on collision. The driver, Isael Medrano, had a blood-alcohol content of .09.

Medrano is a native of Mexico and an illegal alien. On Jan. 24, 2005, he was charged with driving while intoxicated. He later pleaded guilty to the charge. Despite that, Medrano remained in the United States.

"I thought the government was supposed to take care of us," said Koon. "If you're an illegal alien, you shouldn't be here in the first place, and you shouldn't be set free if you commit a serious crime."

Prosecutors said they are unaware if someone is illegal unless Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, alerts them. With 300,000 illegal immigrants in North Carolina, an ICE spokesman said, it's difficult to track each one.

Still, Koon believes the agency needs to do better.

"This could happen to anybody," she said. "It was not supposed to happen to us, but this is everyone's problem."

Medrano is in jail on $200,000 bond. ICE officials have issued an order to deport hiim if he is released.

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