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Alleged drunk driver arraigned in deadly crash

Mother of child who was killed expected an apology

When the prosecutor described the crash that ended the life of Grendalee Alvarado’s 7-year old daughter, the heartbroken mother wiped tears from her eyes. When the defense attorney for Olivia Mora said Mora has only briefly seen her 4-year-old daughter since her arrest last fall, Mora wiped tears from her eyes.

The two mothers were in opposite ends of the Suffolk Superior courtroom Tuesday as they faced the newest chapter stemming from their unexpected meeting Nov. 26, when an allegedly drunk Mora careered through a Dorchester neighborhood before crashing into Alvarado as she walked along Olney Street holding the hand of her daughter, Brianna Rosales.


After seeing Mora for the first time since the crash, Alvarado said she had hoped that Mora might try, in some way, to apologize for killing her daughter.

“But I don’t see sorry,’’ Alvarado told reporters after Mora’s arraignment, where Mora was held on $150,000 bail.

Alvarado said she has only limited memories of the moment, captured by a surveillance camera, when the light-colored Chevrolet Tahoe veered from the street in the Fields Corner area and bore down on mother and daughter.

“She was a nice girl,” Alvarado said of her daughter, as she broke down again. “Always happy. Always taking care of everybody.’’

Accompanying Alvarado, 26, was her family and Revere attorney Joseph Machera, who said he has been trying to find a way for Alvarado to pay off the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills for injuries sustained in the crash. She has had multiple surgeries and four strokes since the crash, he said.

“Every day is a nightmare for her,’’ Machera said. He said Alvarado often dreams that her daughter is alive, but then wakes to the bitter reality.

“She’s not so much angry as she just wonders why it had to be [them],’’ Machera said.


In court, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Masai King said police concluded that Mora was driving her sport utility vehicle well over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit at the time of impact.

King also said that after the crash Mora insisted to police that she had not been drinking. But he said a blood sample showed that her blood alcohol level nine hours after the crash was .125, well above the legal limit of .08. King noted that a State Police chemist calculated that Mora’s blood alcohol level was between .188 and .386 at the time of the crash.

Mora, who walked slowly into the courtroom with the aid of a cane, spoke only when she replied not guilty to numerous charges, including manslaughter by a motor vehicle.

Defense attorney John Pavlos told Trial Magistrate Gary D. Wilson that the State Police report contained a factual error, a wrong time element in describing the blood tests, leading him to question how many more he might discover once an expert on alcohol toxicity examines the report.

At the time of the crash, the 36-year-old Mora was thought to be living in Dorchester. Pavlos said Mora is a California native who has lived in Massachusetts continuously since 1999 after she was granted a full scholarship to Babson College, from which she graduated. He said Mora was trained in “guerrilla marketing’’ and had incorporated a company in New Hampshire.

It was Pavlos’s discussion about Mora’s love for her own daughter and the loss she has felt since her arrest, that prompted Mora’s tears. Pavlos said that at the time of the crash, Mora was a single mother who devoted most of her days to caring for her daughter.


Since last November, he said, Mora has seen her daughter for just 20 minutes. The child is in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

Alvarado said she understood the importance of Mora being able to mother her own child. “For one point it’s fair; for another point it’s not,’’ she said, “because she took the life of my daughter.’’