Alleged drunk driver plunges off wharf into ocean with 3 passengers in Monterey

Generic police lights (FOX 9)

A man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Sunday when he allegedly drove off a wharf in Monterey and into the ocean while fleeing police.

At about 1:30 a.m., Monterey Police officers were on foot on Alvarado Street when they spotted a green Chevrolet pickup truck turn the wrong way onto a one-way street. The officers radioed to patrol units, who found the Chevy entering Municipal Wharf 2. The officer attempted to make a traffic stop, and the driver initially pulled over, but then allegedly sped off at a high rate of speed toward the end of the wharf.


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The vehicle plummeted more than 200 feet onto a parked train below.

Thinking that the vehicle had nowhere to go except the water, the officer headed back to his patrol car and drove down the wharf. Not seeing the truck, he believed that it had pulled behind a building at the end of the wharf. More officers arrived and all of them blocked the exits with their vehicles. Some officers went on foot to the end of the wharf to check behind the building, but soon heard someone yelling from the ocean. The officers observed four people in the water and "assumed they had jumped into the water to escape," the police department said. Floatation devices were tossed out to the quartet and officers called a rescue crew.

"It was not until the officers could not find the truck that they realized the truck had driven off of the wharf and into the ocean," said a spokesperson for the police department.

All four people were rescued with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and Monterey Police and Fire.

Martin Urroz, 21, of Fresno was determined to have been the driver. Urroz was injured and was taken to the hospital, and he is expected to survive. The rest of his passengers had minor injuries.

Urroz was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and obstructing or resisting a police officer.