SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Jose police continued the search for a driver in a hit-and-run that left one man dead and another critically injured.
Investigators said around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, the person behind the wheel of a 1999 Honda going eastbound on Alum Rock, ran a red light at South Jackson Road. He collided with a Tesla traveling northbound, then veered across the bus lanes and into a Dodge Durango headed west.
“I saw the ambulance coming so I just told them relax, relax. And the guy in the back, he had a big slash in his head, like open. And then he started [to regain] consciousness, and I just told him to relax. And by that time the ambulance got here,” said Jesus Ramierez who witnessed the crash.
Two passengers in the Honda suffered the most out of the six people involved in the collision. One was killed, the second critically injured. The driver escaped on foot.
“He stopped, got out of the vehicle, and fled the scene,” said Gina Tepoorten, a spokeswoman for the San Jose Police Department.
The crash marked San Jose’s 46th fatal collision in 2019. That’s about the average number over the course of the past five years. Officials with one nonprofit Walk San Jose, say redesigning active streets such as Alum Rock and Jackson could lessen the occurrence of such crashes.
“It’s always kind of tragic and sad and we do feel these crashes are preventable,” said Nikita Sinha, a program director for nonprofit.
The Honda driver, described in his 40s and wearing a red jersey, fled from the scene, police said. Nov. 20, 2019
She said Tuesday’s crash area is one of 17 "priority corridors, which account for 3 percent of the city’s roadways, but 50 percent of all crashes.
“A lot of these corridors, the reason that they do have a higher number of crashes is because they’re wider, there are more lanes. Drivers can travel at a higher speed. And speed is one of the greatest factors in a lot of these fatal incidents,” said Sinha.
While Sinha pushes for roadway design changes, police say they’re using surveillance video collected from multiple cameras to aid the investigation. The suspect driver at the center of the crash is described as a Hispanic man in his 40s. He could be charged withvehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.
“It’s definitely tragic. And I know everyone is concerned about the traffic collisions that have been occurring,” said Tepoorten.
Jesus Ramirez was outside walking his dog when he saw a car speeding, and then when he turned the corner, saw several cars piled on top of each other. Nov. 20, 2019