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Uber driver dead and one passenger injured in crash, police arrest suspect

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- Salinas Police confirmed to KION that at least one person has died and one person is injured after they were involved in a two-car crash on Sunday night.

Investigators said the crash happened on North Sanborn Road and Freedom Parkway around 11:14 p.m.. Officers confirmed that a Uber driver in one of the vehicles died and a passenger is being treated for their injuries at Natividad Medical Center.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim as 53-year-old Jorge Vasquez Topete of Salinas.

Salinas Police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Juan Manuel Gonzalez. Investigators said Gonzalez ran from his vehicle that he was driving on Sunday night.

Gonzalez was arrested on Monday morning and will be booked into the Monterey County Jail on vehicular manslaughter charges, felony hit and run and driving without a license.

Salinas Police LT. Zach Dunagan says it is unknown if Gonzalez was under the influence of drugs or alcohol but says it is sad when the person who was trying to right thing gets caught in a tragedy.

"It's one of those things that even if you're responsible and you take an Uber, people are still out there drinking and driving," Dunagan said. "And there's still the possibility of a drunk driver hitting you."

Police said that this is an ongoing investigation and if anyone has any information regarding the collision or Gonzalez’s whereabouts last night we ask that you call Motor Officer Lopez at (831) 758-7378.

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Derrick Ow

Assignment Editor for KION News Channel 5/46


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