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Monterey man faces 25 to life for crash that killed woman and dog off Blanco Road

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) UPDATE Jan. 17, 2023, 10:48 a.m.- Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni said that a man that crashed a stolen vehicle in a ditch off Blanco Road at Armstrong would face 25 years to life for killing his passenger.

Nicholas Charles Howder, age 34, from Monterey, was convicted Tuesday for evading a peace officer causing death, evading a peace officer against traffic, evading an officer with willful disregard, vehicular manslaughter, and driving on a suspended license.

Nicholas Charles Howder mugshot courtesy of Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

On Feb. 16, 2022, Howder was initially compliant during a traffic stop initiated by a Salinas Police Officer while in a stolen vehicle. He changed his mind and drove off, reaching over 100 miles per hour, said Pacioni.

Howder did not stop at four red lights during the five-mile chase, said Pacioni. The chase ended when Howder lost control of the vehcile and hit a pole.

The vehicle flipped in the air and landed upside down in a ditch off Blanco Road at Armstrong. His female passenger was killed in the crash, said Pacioni. The woman who died was identified as Brandy Delamore. She was 49 at the time of her death.

We also previously reported a pit bull in the car was also killed in the crash. Howder was charged with animal cruelty but was acquitted on the misdemeanor charge, said the district attorney's office.

Howder faces 25 years to life in prison at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 9, 2023.

UPDATE Feb. 17, 2022, 12:00 p.m. Blanco Road was re-opened after the overnight crash.

Woman and dog killed in crash following Salinas Police chase

An overnight crash on Blanco Road at Armstrong Road has left a vehicle in a ditch and a woman dead after a chase with police in a stolen vehicle.

Police said at 10:14 p.m. Wednesday, a police officer noticed a stolen vehicle on Boronda Road approaching N. Main Street.

After confirming it was a stolen vehicle, an officer got behind the vehicle as it turned into Auto Center Circle.

The Gates were closed, so the suspect Nicholas Howder, 33, could not keep going, so he put the car in gear and drove southbound on Davis Road as officers approached the traffic stop.

A chase ensued, and Howder reached speeds over 100 mph, continued southbound on Davis Road, and turned westbound onto West Blanco Road.

That's when Howder lost control of the vehicle east of Armstrong Road, left the roadway, hit a sign, drove into a ditch, and rolled several times.

Officers tried to give medical aid but could not get to the occupants.

Salinas Firefighters used the jaws of life to extract the passengers.

An unidentified woman was pronounced dead on the scene, as was a pit bull in the vehicle.

Howder was taken to the hospital for moderate injuries.

Calista Silva (KION Chief Photographer)

Blanco Road was closed between Armstrong Road and Davis Road, according to the Salinas Police Department.

Howder will face charges of evading, possessing a stolen vehicle, driving on a suspended license and vehicular manslaughter once he is released from the hospital.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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